WASHINGTON – Six years ago, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission decided to strip a privately-owned street, known as Farm Road, in Sandy Spring, of its addresses over a survey dispute. The landowners couldn’t get mail and were unable to get permits to build. Essentially, they were stripped of their property rights.
Finally, a reversal came this week. Under pressure from civil rights leaders, the commission restored 11 addresses in the historic African-American enclave. Two others remain landlocked, but officials promise to find a resolution for them.
The changes are too little, too late for some. William Rounds, 72, says that he spent all his money fighting officials. Now he has an empty lot and no means to build his retirement home.
Landowners, however, plan a protest at the Department of Justice. They say not enough was done to protect their rights. And most of the residents spent their life’s savings trying to get their property rights back.