Harford County Circuit Court denies requests to pause Abingdon Woods tree clearing

·2 min read

Aug. 4—A Harford County Circuit Court judge rejected requests to temporarily halt tree clearing at the Abingdon Woods development at a hearing Wednesday.

Judge Diane Adkins-Tobin denied two petitions for an injunction — one filed by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation on July 15 and another from Janet Hardy, of Abingdon, and Veronica Cassilly, of Darlington, on July 26.

Thee injunction requests were filed after the developers, BTC III I-95 Logistics Center LLC and Harford Investors LLP, began clearing trees on the property after a grading permit was issued by the county on June 29.

Abingdon Business Park plans call for building more than two million square feet of warehouse, commercial and retail facilities on nine lots across 326 acres southeast of the Route 24/I-95 interchange in Abingdon. The site is bounded on the south side by properties just north of Route 7 and on the east side by Abingdon Road.

The petitioners filed for the injunction to pause the tree clearing until the Maryland Court of Appeals could rule on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's challenge of the development's forest conservation plan. A ruling is expected by Aug. 31.

In denying the injunction requests, Adkins-Tobin found that the petitioners failed to provide sufficient evidence of how they would be harmed by the tree clearing, and that the developers had obtained the necessary permits legally.

Paul Smail, of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and Grant Giel, of The Law Office of G. Macy Nelson, LLC, represented the petitioners. Joseph Snee, of the firm Snee, Lutche, Helmlinger & Spielberger, P.A., Benjamin Wechsler and Paul Sweeney, both of the firm Yumkas, Vidmar, Sweeney & Mulrenin, represented the respondents.

Smail said the ruling was "disheartening," and now they're looking to see how the court of appeals rules on the forest conservation plan case.

"It's a steep burden to beat," Smail said, "but we had to do everything we could."

Snee declined to comment on the hearing.