Board denies appeal of home-based permit Man claims war on 'industrialization'

November 04, 1993|By Erik Nelson | Erik Nelson,Staff Writer

A Silver Spring man who says he is at war against the "industrialization" of Howard County's residential areas lost another battle when the Board of Appeals threw out his appeal of a Glenwood couple's home-based contractor permit.

Edward Friedman had no comment about the board's dismissal of his case Tuesday night, but he has said in the past that he is "prepared for a long fight" against home-based contractor regulations he considers overly permissive.

Susie Lanuza, who with her husband, Jeffrey, owns one of three properties in the Glenwood Springs subdivision where Mr. Friedman owns a vacant lot, said she was pleased by the decision.

"It shouldn't have even gone this far. It's too bad that the county's time was wasted," she said. Her husband operates a lawn-care business out of their home.

After Mr. Friedman filed a complaint against the Lanuzas for operating a business, they were able to obtain a home-based contractor permit under zoning regulations adopted last year.

As a result, Mr. Friedman became the first person to challenge the issuance of such a permit by the county Department of Planning and Zoning.

The board's order to dismiss the case said Mr. Friedman failed to provide a factual or legal basis for his appeal.

The Lanuzas, whose property does not adjoin Mr. Friedman's lot and is barely visible from it, charge that Mr. Friedman had a "vendetta" against them because they failed to support his battle against another property owner.

That owner, William Bowers, runs a landscaping business with a tractor and mulch pile that Mr. Friedman has said he finds annoying during visits to his lot.

Zoning authorities are still investigating Mr. Friedman's complaint against Mr. Bowers.

Mr. Friedman also filed a complaint about another neighbor, Mark Ashby, who operates a heating and air conditioning business. Zoning authorities issued a home-based contractor permit for Mr. Ashby's property on Sept. 14.

Mr. Friedman said he would not comment on whether he would challenge those permits if they were issued, or appeal the decision on the Lanuzas' permit to Circuit Court.

Mr. Friedman often visits his wooded lot to walk his dog. Mr. Bowers claims that the animal was a catalyst for the dispute. Mr. Bowers and other neighbors assert that Mr. Friedman was upset with people who complained to him about the dog. And Mr. Friedman called county police to accuse one neighbor of threatening to kill his dog, neighbors and police said.

Mr. Friedman has said the dispute began with the failure of county zoning authorities to respond to his complaints about Mr. Bowers' dumping of tree limbs and other organic debris next to his property.

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