Stump dump owner loses permit for Howard County garden center


The owner of a smoldering stump dump in Baltimore County got some bad news yesterday from Howard County, which revoked the zoning exception for his garden center near Ellicott City.

The county's Board of Appeal in the first action of its kind revoked the special exception held by James F. Jett, who operates Patapsco Family Gardens in a residential zone on Route 99 near McKenzie Road.

The board found that Mr. Jett had violated conditions it set in 1986 and clarified last year.

The violations involved screening requirements, hours of operation, failure to erect a split-rail fence along the eastern lot line, storing equipment outdoors and selling fertilizer and hand tools prohibited for retail sale by the board, the board said.

It cited a "cavalier attitude towards compliance" and said that if -- the county's Department of Planning and Zoning had not filed a petition to revoke the special exception, "there is no question that the violations would be continuing."

"Only the actual opening of the revocation petition hearing resulted in final compliance with the board's orders," the board said.

Mr. Jett's attorney, Michael P. Tanczyn, said that he had not received the 27-page decision and needed to review it before deciding whether to appeal.

Mr. Jett, who operates the center on a 2.6-acre site owned by his parents, owns the stump dump in the 8700 block of Dogwood Road that has been burning since Feb. 2.

In other action, the Howard board granted a special exception to The Wecker's Inc. to operate an inn on 8 acres in a residential zone on Furnace Avenue near Race Road in Elkridge. The operator leases the property from the Department of Natural Resources. The site includes the Elkridge Furnace House, which will be rehabilitated and used as an inn.

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