This News Service

Poorly managed growth is one of the greatest threats to quality of life.  Yet growth can yield tremendous benefits when guided by a good master plan supported by zoning and other regulations which ensures each development project conforms to the plan.  However, when project proposals fail to conform the end result can be severe impacts to neighborhoods, the environment and other key quality of life factors.

The purpose of this news service is to help citizens and nonprofit groups ensure that land use and environmental laws are fully enforced.  There’s a widespread perception that the way you win land use and environmental battles is to hire a lawyer to kill the offending project.  This approach seldom succeeds, but the rare successes generate a lot of publicity; hence the perception that this is the best option.  Rarely publicized are the far more numerous successes citizens have using highly-effective approaches,  like Equitable Solutions and Smart Legal Strategies developed by CEDS.  The primary purpose of this blog is to share these successes along with new tactics citizens innovate as they grapple with threats to their neighborhood or environment.  So if you have an experience you’d like to share, contact  CEDS at 410-654-3021 or Help@ceds.org.

Along the right-hand column we provide brief announcements of projects which have prompted folks to contact CEDS for assistance along with new research, court decisions, publications, tactics, strategies, etc. that may be of value to those struggling to preserve quality of life by advocating enforcement of land use and environmental laws.


Community & Environmental Defense Services (CEDS) helps individuals, nonprofits and other groups with a long list of threats to a neighborhood or the environment.  We are a nationwide network of attorneys, engineers, planners, scientists and other professionals dedicated to helping communities gain the benefits of growth without sacrificing quality of life.  We help with threats big and small.  With two unique approaches developed by CEDS – Equitable Solutions and Smart Legal Strategies – our clients win 90% of their battles vs. the 20% success rate using conventional approaches.  To learn how we can help with an issue of concern to you contact CEDS at 410-654-3021 or Help@ceds.org or visit us at: ceds.org.

Richard Klein

I’m the author of most articles posted to this news service as well as two books (Everyone Wins and How To Win Land Development Issues) along with a long list of shorter publications..

I spent a good deal of my youth on Whitemarsh Run, just outside of Baltimore, MD.  As the watershed was transformed from farms and forests to suburbia, I watched the stream decline horribly.  It went from supporting a dozen fish species to one and homes which were once free of flooding were inundated during severe storms.

I was an employee of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources for 18 years and worked in the fields of water quality monitoring and fishery management.  During my last ten years with the Department I served as director of Maryland Save Our Streams.

I left DNR in 1987 to start Community & Environmental Defense Services.  I serve as president of CEDS and function as the principal strategist and facilitator.  This means I do the initial work with our citizen clients helping them to clarify and document their concerns.  I then help them find equitable solutions to each concern and ensure each solution will be fully implemented through agreements, permit conditions, etc.  In those rare cases when an equitable solution isn’t available I help our clients develop a strategy to prevent the project from being built.

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