County Council approves bill easing rules on roadside sales Vendors will be able sell their goods in all commercial districts

January 17, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The County Council narrowly voted last night to allow roadside vendors to sell their goods in all commercial districts.

The majority, councilmen Thomas W. Redmond Sr., Bert L. Rice, William Mulford II and John J. Klocko III, agreed that roadside vendors should be permitted to sell in areas zoned for offices and strip shopping centers, provided that the vendors secure permits and submit to regular inspections.

Council members James "Ed" DeGrange, George Bachman and Council Chairwoman Diane R. Evans voted against the bill, arguing that the vendors take business from established concerns.

Elizabeth R. Butler, president of the Greater Severna Park Chamber of Commerce, lobbied against the bill and said the county should support established businesses because they give generously to local school and club fund-raisers every year.

But council members also listened to Michael Weller tell how he had to close his produce stand, which had been situated for 12 years near Annapolis Mall off Bestgate Road in Annapolis. A bill in July forced him to close the stand, because roadside vendors were not permitted there.

Mr. Weller said the earlier law could have cost much as $4,000 a month to relocate.

"How am I going to sell enough corn to make $4,000 a month?" Mr. Weller asked. "This is competition. This is how business works."

The new bill, which supersedes the law adopted in July, requires vendors to provide adequate off-street parking and acquire a $250 yearly license.

The bill includes a provision that requires them to pay a $50 relocation fee if they want to move to a site other than the one listed on the their license.

In voting for the bill, Mr. Rice suggested that it be reviewed after two years to see if it is working.

Also last night, the council unanimously approved a resolution to sell $10 million in county-issued tax-exempt bonds to help an Odenton company purchase the land where it is situated.

In 1993, Atlas Container Corp., maker of corrugated boxes, moved from Baltimore to the 8000 block of Telegraph Road, where it leases more than 23 acres from MacMillan Bloedel, said Paul Centenari, president of Atlas.

The money from the bonds will buy the land, all but one piece of machinery the company uses and to upgrade equipment, Mr. Centenari said.

The firm produces 3,000 tons of boxes a month, he said.

The goal is to increase that 5,000 tons.

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