Howard officials close impromptu used-car lot

`It was just getting out of hand,' Guzzone says

October 12, 2002|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

An impromptu used-car lot in Columbia that was a sore spot for some residents has been shut down by county officials, who placed no-parking signs along the side of the road.

Drivers who traveled along Seneca Drive approaching northbound U.S. 29 were greeted yesterday with a shoulder free of cars and the freshly planted road signs.

The lot, which one resident said had been used by local residents to sell cars for several years, had grown increasingly popular among sellers and shoppers this summer, perhaps because three successive years of record new-car sales and hefty dealer incentives had put a lot more used cars on the market.

On a recent weekday evening, the lot drew a couple of sellers who were taking potential buyers for test drives and a man and his son who were perusing a string of vehicles that included nearly new sport utility vehicles and antique pickup trucks.

County Councilman Guy J. Guzzone, who represents the area, said residents of the Allview community had complained about the line of cars with "for sale" signs in their windows.

Residents had recently circulated two petitions asking county officials to either place no-parking signs on the road, or create a usable lane, he said.

"The residents have been very upset about that," Guzzone said. "We've received petitions, literally hundreds of people complaining. Initially, there were one or two [vehicles], but it got up to about 15, and people were slowing in the travel lane to look at cars. It was just getting out of hand."

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