Last vendor at Jumpers Hole Anne Arundel County: Roadside sales are not as free-wheeling as they used to be.

March 31, 1997

TIMES HAVE CAUGHT UP with James Teague. For five years, he has been selling handmade birdhouses and lawn ornaments at the intersection of Jumpers Hole and Elvaton roads. This may be his last because of zoning regulations governing roadside sales and the indifference of a large out-of-state management company.

The retired Mr. Teague has been able to earn about $1,000 each spring selling his wares from a trailer that he hitched to a pink school bus. This year, he must comply with Anne Arundel County's new requirement that he obtain a vendor's license. In addition, he needs written permission from the owner of the adjacent Pasadena Crossroads Shopping Center to continue to sell his wares from his current location.

These requirements are in keeping with a 1995 county law that regulates roadside sales. It requires transient vendors to adhere to the same zoning and health rules that govern fixed commercial enterprises. These include restricting roadside sales to commercially zoned areas and requiring food vendors to comply with health codes. County enforcement officers have distributed materials describing the new law and applications for licenses. To date, it has issued 45 annual licenses (at $250 a year) and dozens of daily or special occasion licenses (at $25 a day.)

It appears that Mr. Teague cannot obtain the necessary permission to continue selling from his current location. Hampshire Management Co., which handles the leasing of the shopping center, apparently doesn't want to give him the authorization to sell from its property because its leases contain "no-competition" clauses for its lessees.

Perhaps the center's tenants -- Metro Food Market, Kmart, Burlington Coat Factory, CVS Pharmacy and Baby Superstore -- could inform their landlord that Mr. Teague's handmade objects are not a threat to their businesses. But they haven't.

In one way, Mr. Teague and other roadside vendors are victims of the times. Anne Arundel is no longer a sparsely populated county with quiet country roads. The practice of setting up shop at any old location, whether it be a dangerous intersection or someone's front yard, doesn't suit a county filling up with competitive big businesses and well-maintained homes.

Pub Date: 3/31/97

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