On Monday afternoon, a hearing was held at the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County to determine if the case should be remanded to the board for additional consideration.
Thomas Deming, a lawyer for Fairwinds, argued that the board's decision was "erroneous" because proper traffic studies weren't conducted by the city and the proposal ran counter to the 2009 Annapolis Comprehensive Plan, which outlines the city's direction for the next 10 years. The plan is centered on the ideas of preserving and enhancing the character of the community, maintaining a flourishing economy and promoting green initiatives.
"This application was not supported by information required by law," Deming said.
He specified that the board used a standard included in the 1998 Comprehensive Plan, which is outdated.
Alan Hyatt, an attorney for the developer, said that though the board was incorrect in citing the previous standard, all legal applications made were accurate.
"The request did comply with [the current] comprehensive plan," Hyatt said.
"There was no error of law," Elson said.
Deming countered that even under the law pertaining to special exceptions, traffic studies to determine congestion, look at access roads and analyze ingress and egress traffic are necessary.
Michele Cross, president of the Fairwinds Board of Directors, said the gas station would hurt business for the six already existing gas stations in a three-mile radius of the area.
"It would be a disaster if a gas station was put there," Cross said.
Ray Sullivan, an organizer for Save Your Annapolis Neck, a community activist group, said that the gas station runs counter to the Comprehensive Plan's directive to make the city more green.
"We'd like to see something there that's more community-based," Sullivan said. "We'd like to see a family restaurant."
Anastasia Hopkinson, who is also with Save Your Annapolis Neck, said the gas station would further exacerbate the traffic congestion in an already burdened area.
"This is already a failed system," she said.
Judge Ronald Silkworth said he would take the information from the hearing under advisement and announce a decision at a later date.