Report: Judge Rules Against Rockville in Pumphrey Dispute

Judge’s ruling reinstates ordinance permitting funeral home to build a parking lot in West End.

A judge ruled against the City of Rockville’s decision to prevent Robert A. Pumphery Funeral Home from building a parking lot in Rockville’s West End, The Gazette reports.

The proposed parking lot had been a source of conflict because some people didn’t think it belonged in a residential historic district.

 In January 2012, the current Council overturned in a 3-2 vote a prior decision to change zoning laws to permit the funeral home to add the parking lot. Councilmen Mark Pierzchala and Tom Moore cast the opposing votes, Patch has reported. 

According to The Gazette, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Eric M. Johnson ruled on April 29 that the prior ordinance be reinstated.

An attorney for the funeral home told The Gazette that the city could still appeal, but the funeral home would be happy to move forward with building a parking lot.

Read the full account at Gazette.net.

C.Z. Guy May 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM
A small victory for private property rights in Rockville!
Theresa Defino May 28, 2013 at 01:14 PM
Wow--this ruling is a month old and it's just now being reported? Why didn't it come up at any of the city council meetings under the city manager's report? Also it's the kind of thing reporters (when there were any real ones) would track and report immediately. You typically get 30 days to appeal. Time must be running out.
mark May 28, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Bravo. I am sure the city will appeal, but let's pray the ruling stands. How dare the council mistreat this longtime business.
Jeff Hawkins May 28, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Excellent news.....
Theresa Defino May 28, 2013 at 04:43 PM
They are appealing...see new story. This is a waste of taxpayer dollars and I'd love to know if this was unanimous decision to appeal or not. http://rockville.patch.com/articles/city-will-appeal-ruling-in-pumphrey-dispute
Jeff Hawkins May 28, 2013 at 06:13 PM
Thank you Theresa.....let's hope they lose the appeal. Yes I would be curious also about the "appealers".
Tom Moore May 29, 2013 at 02:33 AM
For the record, I respectfully disagree with the court's decision in this matter, and fully support the efforts of the City to overturn it. Details here: http://councilmembermoore.org/?p=167 Tom Moore Councilmember, City of Rockville
Theresa Defino May 29, 2013 at 03:55 AM
Just read your post, Tom. Why was the challenge framed that way? Also is the decision available to read? Thanks!
Tom Moore May 29, 2013 at 04:00 AM
It was the *only* way to frame the challenge -- there's simply no way to sue a legislative body for making ill-advsed legislative decisions. (They would be selling off the Capitol to satisfy judgments if there were...) I believe we have the judge's decision, but not his opinion, so it's impossible to know for sure why the judge decided the way he did. There's a possibility that the judge has come to this conclusion for some entirely different reason that I would find just peachy. But if his opinion tracks Pumphrey's arguments even slightly, I believe the decision is in error.
Kevin Brooks May 29, 2013 at 12:29 PM
Glad that common sense reared it's head here. Shame on the city. Seems very anti-business, I mean anti-small business! Big business does not get pushed around the way Pumphrey's was in this case....(See huge hole in Town Center)


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