A rezoning application for a large, mixed-use development in Urbana, Maryland was just withdrawn thanks to the efforts of those living in the adjoining Woodlands community. The mixed-use project would have consisted of number of commercial and residential uses. Several dozen Woodlands homes overlook the 35-acre site which consists of fields and forests. These homeowners had paid a significant premium for this view. Had the rezoning been granted the trees and grassland would have been replaced with self-storage facilities, offices, multifamily housing, and other uses. With the existing zoning only 18 uses were allowed while the rezoning sought by the applicant allowed 85. With rezoning, traffic volume from the site would more than double. The residents engaged CEDS to assist in forming then carrying out a strategy to protect their community. CEDS prepared a PowerPoint presentation contrasting the development allowed with existing and proposed zoning. The presentation also suggested a number of Equitable Solutions to reduce impacts if rezoning were granted. CEDS recommended an attorney from our Good Attorneys network to draft a letter to the applicant urging them to make the changes recommended by CEDS that would minimize adverse effects. The residents then reached out to County Council members urging them to either require the impact reduction measures or deny the rezoning application. These actions apparently prompted the applicant to withdraw the rezoning request. We presume the withdraw was in response to the Council signaling that they were inclined to deny rezoning.

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