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Laroque v. Board of County Commissioners of

Decided: January 24, 1964.

LAROQUE ET AL.
v.
BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY ET AL.



Appeal from the Circuit Court for Prince George's County; Bowie, J.

Henderson, Hammond, Prescott, Marbury and Sybert, JJ. Prescott, J., delivered the opinion of the Court.

Prescott

After the trial court denied appellants' petition for a writ of mandamus to require the Board of County Commissioners

to issue them a permit to operate an automobile and motorcycle raceway for drag racing, they appealed.

The parties agree upon the following facts:

Appellants, owners of a 30 acre tract of land located approximately one-half mile south of U. S. Route No. 301 in the vicinity of Cheltenham, sought to use their property for the purpose of an automobile and motorcycle raceway for drag racing and made application in proper form accompanied by the required fee to the Board of County Commissioners (Board) on February 27, 1963, for a permit to operate same pursuant to Section 1069 of the Code of P. L. L. of Prince George's County (the Section is set forth below).

A hearing on this application was held on March 19, 1963, before the Board. At this hearing, appellants established by uncontroverted evidence that the entrance to the raceway would be more than 500 yards from the nearest church building and the race track itself at its closest point would be more than 1000 yards from the nearest church building. Objections to granting the permit by property owners in the area and other interested parties, which will be set forth in more detail below, were heard by the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, it refused to issue a permit to operate the proposed raceway.

On May 9, 1963, the appellants filed a petition for a writ of mandamus to compel the issuance of the permit, to which the appellee, Board, filed a demurrer. Thereafter, appellees, Aloysius Hall, et al, filed a motion to intervene alleging that they were residents and property owners in the vicinity of the proposed raceway and would be affected by the proceedings.

The Circuit Court, after a full hearing, held that mandamus was the proper procedure in the case; that Section 1069 was constitutional; and that, under its provisions and those of 464 (b) (pertinent portions of which are also set forth below) the Board had authority to deny the permit, and its action in so doing was not arbitrary nor capricious.

In addition to the facts agreed upon here, there was additional testimony taken, relevant portions of which will be stated in considering Question No. II.

The appellants subdivide their argument under ...


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