CUMBERLAND - Applications to obtain exclusive rights to the names of several local planning groups have been withdrawn from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to Craig Leonard, development manager of Terrapin Run LLC.

Leonard confirmed Thursday that he and developer Michael Carnock are no longer pursuing trademarks for Citizens for Smart Growth, Allegany County Citizens for Smart Growth, Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County, Reality Check and Allegany by Design.

The applications were filed initially, Leonard said, because the developers wanted to prevent a small group of opponents of the proposed Terrapin Run housing project from unfairly claiming endorsement or affiliation from larger smart growth organizations.

They were later withdrawn because "we felt like it wasn't the most effective way to make that point," he said.

The applications were filed in June and July but only brought to the public's attention Aug. 31 in an article by The (Baltimore) Sun.

At the time, Leonard said the unorthodox move was meant to encourage discussion about what constitutes smart growth.

William Wantz, a Hagerstown attorney representing Citizens for Smart Growth, a local group that has challenged the 4,300-unit Terrapin Run proposal, told the Times-News in September he expected the applications to "be promptly withdrawn."

In response, Leonard said neither he nor Carnock had considered withdrawing the applications.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site, however, lists the five applications as "abandoned" effective Sept. 14. Applications can be abandoned for failure to respond, failure to file a statement of use or for incomplete response, the Web site said.

Citizens for Smart Growth spokesman Dale Sams said he first learned of the news when contacted by the Times-News on Wednesday.

"We're always glad to see something like this be resolved in this way," he said. "We're pleased he's seen fit to do this."

Although Sams told The Sun in early September that the move to trademark his organization's name amounted to "dirty tricks," he said the tactic ultimately produced positive results.

"A large number of people contacted us, talking about the positive aspects of smart growth and inquiring more about what Citizens for Smart Growth in Allegany County is doing," he said. "Even though it was clearly not a good tactic to use, it had a very positive impact for us."

Leonard said he is still interested in discussing smart growth with his opponents and has recently even met with a few people who oppose Terrapin Run. He said part of the reason the applications were withdrawn was to extend "a goodwill gesture."

Without providing specific details, Leonard said Terrapin Run LLC, which has a trademark application filed, will continue to reinforce its view that Terrapin Run is a smart growth concept.

"I think we're going to have to continue trying to make that point because I suspect they'll continue to make this unsubstantiated claim that their no-growth ideas are somehow smart growth ideas," he said. "We're going to have to continue to make that point."

Tai Shadrick can be reached at

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