Two Elkton area proposed businesses asking for special exceptions received a unanimous no vote from the county’s Board of Appeals on Tuesday night.
Board of Appeals members said they were having difficulty getting the full picture of the conditions at 14 Atkinson Circle, located in the northeast corner of the county in Glen Farms.
Applicant John Collins told the board he was looking to continue selling auto parts from a 30 foot by 60 foot pole barn on his property. He told the board that no customers come to his house because all sales are conducted online and the only activity would be from materials coming into the building and then being shipped to customers.
But several Glen Farms residents testified there has been too much traffic in and out of the property for months. They claimed that people arrive at the property early in the morning, park their vehicles and then leave the property in work vehicles. After making complaints to the county, they reported being told they had to come up with evidence of an illegal business. One speaker submitted photos of numerous vehicles and a vehicle lift in the pole barn.
When asked about the traffic, Collins said he is having a lot of work done on his property, but he did not explain why people would be arriving and then leaving in vehicles from the property if they were supposed to be working on the property.
A Delaware incorporated company, Property, Inc., is also allegedly linked to the property. Collins said it is owned by his girlfriend and co-applicant for the special exception, Amelia Reed. Collins gave a Delaware address for the business which was described as a personal services, general repair company.
Glen Farms residents complained that too many of their neighbors are using their residential development for business activities. Harlan Williams, who was involved in helping to develop the neighborhood, said the Board of Appeals should not even discuss the issues since it violates deed restrictions banning business activities in Glen Farms.
County officials said issues involving deed restrictions have to be decided in court.
The Board of Appeals also said no to a special exception to operate an acupuncture office in the Hunters Crossing development.
Peter Marek, who has a Maryland license after thousands of hours of training, wanted to use a front room in his newly-purchased home to treat patients, saying he would start with a 16 hour per week schedule.
As with the Glen Farms discussion, Hunters Crossing residents complained the acupuncture office would bring traffic and potential danger into their community. Eleven neighbors asked the board to say no to Marek, with one woman submitting a petition against the business signed by 59 people.
In denying the special exception, board members mentioned that traffic was a concern, noting that many approved home occupations do not involve customers coming and going from the in-home business.