Neighbors said it was bad enough when Donald Parlett stored construction equipment on his property. But then he trucked in 850 pigs.
Yesterday, the battle between the Earle Beach property owners shifted to a Baltimore County courtroom. The resolution? The threat of fines and the suggestion that Mr. Parlett position the malodorous herd closer to his own home.
District Court Judge Gerald W. Wittstadt found Mr. Parlett guilty of 37 zoning violations and gave him two weeks to meet zoning regulations or be fined up to $63,200. The violations stemmed from illegally operating a construction and excavating business on the 72-acre property, zoned agricultural-residential, and for operating a pig farm too close to neighbors.
Nearby residents, complaining about the smell and noise of the pigs, contended that Mr. Parlett acquired the animals last December in retaliation for their nearly two-year zoning battle over his business.
Judge Wittstadt sided with the neighbors and admonished Mr. Parlett. "Your pig farm may now be legally in compliance but I would strongly suggest that if you move the pigs to the other end of the property, opposite your own house, it could have a bearing on the amount of fine I ultimately impose."
Mr. Parlett testified that since his zoning citations, he has moved the pigs farther away from his neighbors. He said he started the pig farm because his construction and excavating business was down. Mr. Parlett also said in the past week he removed all the illegal equipment from his property.
But Judge Wittstadt said he felt Mr. Parlett "had been playing games with the neighbors and with the county long enough."