Long Green Valley Association, et al. v. Bellevale Farms, Inc., et al., No. 0228, 2012 Md. App. LEXIS 19 (Md. Ct. App. Feb. 14, 2012)

(defendant (dairy farm) sold ag preservation easement to State of Maryland on behalf of Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF), an entity of the Maryland Department of Agriculture; MALPF then approved defendant's proposal to construct and operate creamery, processing facility, farm store and parking lot on premises; adjoining owners and plaintiff (conservation organization) alleged that such development violated terms of easement and sought writ of mandamus to compel MALPF to enforce easement; trial court determined that plaintiff and adjoining owner lacked standing to sue; on appeal, court determined that standing existed on theory of special harm, but not theory of constructive trust or third party beneficiary; easement did not create charitable trust enforceable by third parties; easement is creature of property law and made no mention of "trust" or "trustee" and provided for modification or termination by agreement of the parties; easement also not perpetual, so charitable trust doctrine inapplicable; no charitable purpose reflected in easement - MALPF paid $796,500 for easement; third party beneficiary doctrine also inapplicable because easement is type of contract between contracting parties and easement not intended for direct benefit of third parties; standing exists on basis of special harm because MALPF approval defendant's proposal was a land use decision; case remanded to trial court and burden of rebutting allegation of specific harm to adjoining owner shifts to MALPF). 

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