Mediation Up Next for Annapolis and Lofts at Eastport Landing
Saturday, March, 17, 2018
Mediation could help to resolve the Eastport Landing development conflict between the city of Annapolis and Solstice Partners LLC. It is rare for the city to participate in mediation concerning planning and zoning issues, but they have agreed to it this time.
Planning and zoning director Pete Gutwald stated “I cannot say it is happened very often. ”
The cost of the mediation will be split between the two groups. A community group involved, Concerned Citizens of Eastport, have utilized free legal resources thus far, and do not have the ability to pay for mediation.
The groups were ready to defend their appeals just a short time ago. One of the issues concerns the number of residential units that will be in the Lofts at Eastport Landing. The board granted a continuance for the mediation allowing the sides more time to negotiate and avoid taking the dispute to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
According to a representative from Eastport, Alderman Ross Arnett, the mediation might signal residents are fighting for more representation with the changes in the city. H explained, “Obviously the residents are very highly sensitized to land use issues. They were overwhelmed everywhere they look … I think this is a trial. ”
Last year, Arnett was the sponsor of a law requiring all developers to hold a meeting for the public before significant subdivision plans could be submitted. His goal was to bring people to the table and negotiate change that was in the best interest for everyone.
Now, the groups will choose a mediator who will either be a judge or attorney who has previous land use experience to help them reach an agreement that works for everyone involved.