In the case of Sizemore v. Town of Chesapeake Beach, appellants Joyce Sizemore and her daughter, Stephanie Sizemore, came to court to appeal the revocation of their 2003 zoning permit for their business, “Beef & Beef Restaurant.” This issue came to be after the Town of Chesapeake Beach completed a comprehensive rezoning in 2004, which would have required the appellants to file for a new zoning permit, as the location of their restaurant was downgraded from a Commercial High-Density (C-HD) zone to a Residential-Village (R-V) zone.

However, the Sizemores went through with the construction of their restaurant under the previous zoning permit — even after countless written warnings were issued by the town. The construction languished on for months and, eventually, years, which prompted the town to revoke the Sizemores’ permit in January 2009.

In 2012, Stephanie Sizemore wrote to the zoning administrator asking for the reinstatement of the 2003 permit. This request was denied, but the appellants followed up with an application for a new zoning permit several months later. Due to their negligence with their previous permit, the application was denied.

This led the Sizemores to file an appeal, which sparked the Sizemore v. Town of Chesapeake Beach.

Ultimately, the Court of Special Appeals held, in favor of the appellee municipality, that a vested right could be abandoned, in a manner similar to a non-conforming use, according to the terms of a reasonable ordinance under which the original permit to proceed with construction was issued, where such ordinance provides for completion of work within a specified time period. This is new law in the State.

Published decision by Judge Leahy. Counsel: For Appellant, Joyce Sizemore et al: Sager A. Williams, Annapolis, MD. For Appellee, Chesapeake Beach: Elissa D. Levan, Funk & Bolton, PA, Baltimore, MD.