On St. John's Lane in Ellicott City, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.
A local neighborhood association and more than 450 signers of a petition delivered to the Board of Appeals last night found nothing stylish about Susanne Myrtue's proposed two-chair, home-based beauty parlor.
The parlor is unneeded and unwanted, said Ann Jones Koch, representing the North St. John's Lane Community Association.
"Our back yard is the Route 40 commercial corridor," she said. "We have car repair shops, grocery stores, carpet stores, surplus stores, fast-food stores, the odd itinerant massage parlor and associated services, doctors, dentists, dry-cleaners, churches.
"Indeed but for the lack of a birthing center and a mortuary, the Route 40 corridor offers virtual cradle-to-grave services for our community and many other county residents," she testified.
Ms. Myrtue testified that she was planning a modest home-based business so that she could close her existing salon, Myrtue's Hair Design on Town & Country Boulevard in Ellicott City, and start a family.
The Department of Planning and Zoning and the Planning Board recommended approval of the zoning exception last month, with the latter calling for the parlor plans to be cut back from two chairs to one.
About 50 opponents crowded the small hearing room in the George Howard county office building last night.
Ms. Myrtue brought a small group of her closest neighbors, who testified that they had no problem with the proposed salon.
The hearing will continue with opposition testimony at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28.