Howard farm owner receives go-ahead to bottle spring water


Plans to bottle spring water on a 111-acre farm in central Howard County have been approved by the Board of Appeals.

Thomas Taro, a retired contractor who raises race horses, received a special exception to zoning laws that will allow him to bottle 36,000 gallons of spring water a day on his farm along Sheppard Lane near Folly Quarter Road.

The board, which reached its decision Feb. 19 and released it this week, turned down Mr. Taro's request to tap into well water on the site.

Conwell F. Sapp, attorney for Taro Investment Corp., said bottling should begin in mid-May if Mr. Taro can get a permit from the state Water Resources Administration.

She said the water will be sold under the label of the Brickhouse Farms Water Bottling Co.

"The water bubbles up in a spring house on the property, and friends and relatives of Mr. Taro have been coming for years to take jugs of water home," Ms. Sapp said.

Before his operation was approved, Mr. Taro successfully pushed for an amendment to zoning laws to allow water-bottling in agricultural areas with a special exception.

The appeals board limited Mr. Taro's operations to 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays with no more than five employees, no external lighting, no retail sales at the site and no more than three trips a day by delivery trucks.

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