Frustrated by a Columbia developer's failure to improve an Elkridge flea market site, Howard County planning and zoning officials have taken steps to revoke his special exception to operate the business.
Last week, the county Department of Planning and Zoning filed a request to revoke Barry Mehta's special exception because he did not make required site improvements -- including paving or applying an asphalt preservative to the parking lot and providing better access to roads -- before opening the Elkridge flea market April 2.
"We were aware he was in noncompliance," said William O'Brien, chief of zoning administration and enforcement. "He had opened before he was in compliance" with the special exception, Mr. O'Brien said.
The Board of Appeals is scheduled to hold a public hearing Sept. 19. If the board decides to revoke the special exception, Mr. Mehta can appeal the decision in Circuit Court.
Mr. Mehta was unavailable for comment.
Despite community opposition, Mr. Mehta sought and received in June from the Board of Appeals the special exception to run the flea market at the former Elkridge Drive-In off U.S. 1 near Bonnie View Lane.
Conditions in the exception required him to make improvements before he could open the business.
County zoning officials issued a 30-day zoning violation notice the day the flea market opened, giving Mr. Mehta and his wife, Charu Mehta, 30 days to comply with the conditions set forth in the special exception.
Last month, Mr. Mehta attempted to satisfy the zoning board by submitting a more detailed site plan, installing a fence along the southern boundary of the operation and placing a 3-foot-high fence around a trash area. Workers also painted parking spaces for about 40 cars.
County officials said the changes were inadequate.