Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Inc. v. TKU Associates, 85

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtArgued before SINGLEY, SMITH, DIGGES, LEVINE, ELDRIDGE and O'DONNELL, JJ., and ALBERT P. CLOSE; LEVINE
Citation276 Md. 705,351 A.2d 133
PartiesCITIZENS COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, INC., et al. v. TKU ASSOCIATES et al.
Docket NumberNo. 85,85
Decision Date04 February 1976

Page 705

276 Md. 705
351 A.2d 133
CITIZENS COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS, INC., et al.
v.
TKU ASSOCIATES et al.
No. 85.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
Feb. 4, 1976.

[351 A.2d 134]

Page 706

Roger W. Titus, Rockville, for appellants.

Charles R. Donnenfeld (Arent, Fox, Kintner, Plotkin & Kahn, Arnold Johnson, Hogan & Hartson, Washington, D. C., Howard J. Thomas, Bradshaw, Thomas & Yeatman, Silver Spring, and Smith, Miro, Hirsch, Brody & Zweig, Detroit, Mich., on the brief), for appellees.

Argued before SINGLEY, SMITH, DIGGES, LEVINE, ELDRIDGE and O'DONNELL, JJ., and ALBERT P. CLOSE, Special Judge.

LEVINE, Judge.

We granted a writ of certiorari in this case to decide whether appellants should have been permitted to intervene in a declaratory[351 A.2d 135] judgment action and whether an appeal from an order denying the requested intervention was properly dismissed. Appellants' motion for leave to intervene in the case of TKU Associates v. Montgomery County et. al. was denied by the Circuit Court for Montgomery County (Mathias, J.). The appeal of that decision to the Court of Special Appeals was dismissed in an unreported order. We have concluded that the Court of Special Appeals improperly dismissed the appeal and that the circuit court erred in denying the requested intervention.

This case, we are told, is one of some 15 now pending in the circuit court which can trace its origin to the actions taken by the Montgomery County Council (the council) in the spring and summer of 1974. In May of that year, the council, acting on the recommendation of the Maryland-National

Page 707

Capital Park and Planning Commission (the commission), adopted the 'friendship Heights Sector Plan' for a portion of the Chevy Chase area bordering the District of Columbia. Shortly thereafter, the council implemented the plan by approving a number of sectional map amendments, one of which rezoned the eight-acre tract owned by appellee Woodward & Lothrop, Incorporated from the C-2 (general commercial) classification to the more restrictive CBD-1 (central business district) classification.

Some three years prior to the flurry of zoning activity, Woodward & Lothrop, the owner of a department store at the site for almost 20 years, had formulated an ambitious redevelopment plan for the property. The proposed project would have conformed with the existing C-2 zoning classification and the master plan then applicable in that area. Among the steps taken to further the redevelopment was the filing in 1972 of a building permit application and the recordation of a new record plat which allegedly embodied substantial dedications of land and other costly undertakings on the part of the landowner. The 'downzoning' intervened, however, before Woodward & Lothrop could obtain its building permit.

Following adoption of the zoning map amendments in 1974, Woodward & Lothrop noted a statutory appeal to the circuit court pursuant to the Montgomery County Code. Joined by its developer and general contractor, it also filed this declaratory judgment action against Montgomery County, the county executive, the council and the commission. In their sole special prayer for relief herein, appellees seek a declaration that their 'development rights under the existing 'C-2-General Commercial' zoning . . . are not affected by any zoning change purportedly implemented' by the sectional map amendment. The essence of appellees' complaint is that after they had filed their building permit application and recorded the new record plat in accordance with the then-existing C-2 zoning classification, the defendants had wrongfully caused the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission 'to delay

Page 708

action on (their) application for a sewer permit' until such time as their property 'could be downzoned.' 1

While this case was pending in the circuit court, appellants, expressly relying upon Maryland Rule 208, 2 sought leave to [351 A.2d 136] intervene as defendants. 3 In their motion, they alleged that as aggrieved parties they previously had been granted leave to intervene in the numerous zoning appeals spawned by the Friendship Heights Sector Plan, including that brought by appellees, and that they would be equally aggrieved by any action of the court in this case which might have the effect of reversing or modifying the rezoning. To support their asserted right to intervene, they also alleged, with Rule 208 obviously in mind, that 'representation of the interests of (appellants) by existing parties may be inadequate and (appellants) will be bound by any judgment in the instant action.' Alternatively, they claimed that the administrative appeal had 'questions of both law and fact in common with those of the instant

Page 709

action.' Appellees vigorously resisted these claims in a memorandum and at oral argument. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court denied the application to intervene because it did not find 'inadequacy of representation'; nor was it of the opinion that appellants would be 'bound by a judgment in this action.' The court also rejected the motion on 'permissive' grounds because it could find no 'question of law or fact that the prospective intervenors (might) have which is in common with a (question of) law or fact in this action,' and because appellants had not filed a 'timely application.' Since the appeal from that decision was dismissed by the Court of Special Appeals, we turn first to the question of appealability.

(1)

Although we have never flatly passed upon the appealability of an order denying intervention asserted as a matter of right, the Court of Special Appeals has recently done so in Nat'l 4-H Club v. Thorpe, 22 Md.App. 1, 9, 321 A.2d 321 (1974). There, it held that the denial of intervention claimed as of right under Rule 208 a is an appealable order. In so holding, it followed a line of cases decided under Rule 24 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the relevant part of which, in its pre-1966 form, was identical to Rule 208 a. Where intervention is permissive, however, the order denying intervention is appealable only if the court has abused its discretion. 3B Moore's Federal Practice 24.15. Prior to the adoption of our rules of procedure, when there was no provision for intervention as a matter of right, we had applied the latter rule in Maryland. See e. g.,...

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24 practice notes
  • Board of Trustees of Employees' Retirement System of City of Baltimore v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1989
    ...right was the court's conclusion that the Trustees adequately represent the applicants' interests. In Citizens Coordinating Comm. v. TKU, 276 Md. 705, 713, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), we pointed out that under the intervention of right provision of former Rule 208, the rule requires only that the ......
  • Montgomery County v. Bradford, s. 31 and 56
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1996
    ...the County. The County relied primarily on the provisions of Rule 2-214 and this Court's decision in Citizens Coordinating Comm. v. TKU, 276 Md. 705, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), a case in which we concluded that under Maryland Rule 208, the predecessor to Rule 2-214, intervention as a matter of ri......
  • Park & Planning v. Washington Grove, 55, September Term, 2008.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 12, 2009
    ...was an abuse of discretion. 2. a. As stated in Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Inc. v. TKU Associates, 276 Md. 705, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), "[t]he requirement which 968 A.2d 575 we have imposed on the applicant for intervention ... is that he have an interest for the pro......
  • Agnew v. State, 903
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 1, 1982
    ...state's interests by the taxpayers might be "inadequate." Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Inc. v. TKU Associates, 276 Md. 705, 713, 351 A.2d 133 (1976). The State had a right to protect its interest and was properly permitted to do so. 30 Maryland-National Capital Par......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
24 cases
  • Board of Trustees of Employees' Retirement System of City of Baltimore v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1989
    ...right was the court's conclusion that the Trustees adequately represent the applicants' interests. In Citizens Coordinating Comm. v. TKU, 276 Md. 705, 713, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), we pointed out that under the intervention of right provision of former Rule 208, the rule requires only that the ......
  • Montgomery County v. Bradford, s. 31 and 56
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1996
    ...the County. The County relied primarily on the provisions of Rule 2-214 and this Court's decision in Citizens Coordinating Comm. v. TKU, 276 Md. 705, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), a case in which we concluded that under Maryland Rule 208, the predecessor to Rule 2-214, intervention as a matter of ri......
  • Park & Planning v. Washington Grove, 55, September Term, 2008.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • March 12, 2009
    ...was an abuse of discretion. 2. a. As stated in Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Inc. v. TKU Associates, 276 Md. 705, 351 A.2d 133 (1976), "[t]he requirement which 968 A.2d 575 we have imposed on the applicant for intervention ... is that he have an interest for the pro......
  • Agnew v. State, 903
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 1, 1982
    ...state's interests by the taxpayers might be "inadequate." Citizens Coordinating Committee on Friendship Heights, Inc. v. TKU Associates, 276 Md. 705, 713, 351 A.2d 133 (1976). The State had a right to protect its interest and was properly permitted to do so. 30 Maryland-National Capital Par......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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