CENTREVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Queen Anne's County judge has refused to dismiss a suit challenging the rezoning of more than 500 rural acres to permit development.

The judge ruled in favor of the residents and conservation groups on one of the four properties in the suit. However, the ruling by Circuit Judge Sidney Campen Jr., last week denied motions by both sides on the remaining three properties.

The suit argues the changes violate the county's comprehensive plan. Chesapeake Bay Foundation Maryland Executive Director Alison Prost says the ruling is the first test of legislation designed to ensure local zoning is consistent with county comprehensive plans, which protect the quality of life and the rural fabric of communities.

Other plaintiffs include Chesapeake Wildlife Heritage, the Queen Anne's Conservation Association, and the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy.