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Sandy Spring properties are no man's land

Friday - 5/31/2013, 11:00am  ET

SANDY SPRING, Md. - You can drive along Farm Road in Sandy Spring. You just can't find it on a map.

The Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission has refused to assign addresses to a number of parcels of land off Farm Road because it argues there's no access to those properties.

The land owners say there is, it's Farm Road, the privately maintained road they've used for years to get on and off their land.

Because of the planning board's decision, owners can't build on the land because they don't have addresses, and without addresses, they can't get permits.

Selling the land also becomes impossible because who wants land on which he can't build?

The battle over Farm Road has been going on since 2008, and earlier this month, Montgomery County Executive Isiah "ike" Leggett called for a resolution saying of the debate, "Six years is too long."

Steve Kanstoroom, an advocate for the Sandy Spring families and founder of SaveSandySpring.org, agrees. He's pushing hard to get resolution for the families, who are descendants of freed slaves.

Kanstoroom finds it ironic that the land in question is adjacent to the Sandy Spring Slave Museum.

"These people are being treated worse than slaves. At least slaves were given food and water. These people are having their rights taken away from them, and their most valuable asset and that's their ancestral land," he says.

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