Md. Renaissance Festival appeals unfavorable zoning ruling

The Maryland Renaissance Festival organizers have appealed a zoning decision that prevents the festival from moving to a new site in southern Anne Arundel County.

Earlier this month, the county's administrative hearing officer denied requests from the festival for a special exception and variances to allow the festival to operate on a Lothian farm that lacks required "major road" access.

The case now moves to the county's seven-member Board of Appeals. A hearing has not yet been scheduled.

The Maryland Renaissance Festival was founded in Columbia but has operated at a site in Crownsville since 1985. The festival, which replicates life in an English village under the rule of Henry VIII, has grown to its limits on its Crownsville property, and festival operators have been looking for a larger property.

Residents near the Lothian site expressed concerns that the festival would inundate their rural community with traffic and noise.

As the Maryland Renaissance Festival pursues approval to move to the Lothian location, planning is under way for the 2014 festival season, which is scheduled to begin Aug. 23.

pwood@baltsun.com

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