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BACK RIVER, LLC, ET AL. v. BALTIMORE COUNTY, MARYLAND, ET AL.

This appeal is the second appeal before this Court concerning the retention of a wireless telecommunications tower in Baltimore County. In 2002, landowner Back River LLC and its tenant Sprint PCS (hereinafter collectively referred to as “Sprint”) constructed a cell tower on a commercially-zoned property.

In an administrative proceeding before the County Board of Appeals, Sprint requested variances to permit noncompliance with a local zoning ordinance that required the tower to be “set back at least 200 feet from any other owner’s residential property line.” Baltimore County Zoning Regulations § 426.6.A.1.

The Board rejected that request, a circuit court affirmed the decision, and this Court ultimately affirmed the judgment in an unreported opinion: Sprint PCS v. Baltimore County, No. 47, Sept. Term 2004 (filed Aug. 3, 2005).

In 2012, Sprint filed a petition for special hearing, asserting a new legal theory under which the existing tower was actually in compliance with the setback regulations. An administrative law judge ruled otherwise and also held that the new petition was barred under the doctrine of res judicata. Sprint appealed to the Board of Appeals, which dismissed the appeal on res judicata grounds. The circuit court affirmed that decision.

Because the Board’s determination was legally correct, we also affirm.

Read the unreported opinion.