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Speakout!

Your Opinions

Thoughts on issues relating to Howard County

June 05, 2005

Last week's topic: An Ellicott City woman recently was given approval to run a one-chair beauty parlor out of her home despite the opposition of many residents in her Centennial neighborhood. Some believe small service businesses are compatible in residential neighborhoods, while others believe they are disruptive and hurt property values.

To an entrepreneur, much good luck

I have been a householder in the Centennial area for over 20 years, and in that time I have marveled at the ingenuity of those of my neighbors who have been able to make a little extra money, if not their livelihoods, from businesses operated from their homes. There is a man down the street who sells everything from beeswax to zucchini. Another neighbor has a sewing/alteration business. Other neighbors offer home improvement services. Others sell kitchenware and cosmetics, and a legion more sell insurance and real estate.

It was recently reported that there is another neighbor anxious to join in this entrepreneurial parade, a woman who wants to operate a one-chair beauty parlor. There have been complaints that, somehow, offering this kind of practical service, as opposed to the others mentioned previously, is going to be disruptive or damaging to the property values of those who live near her.

To those who have complained, I would say that they have a very elevated idea of what their investment in a Centennial area home entitles them to. More to the point, I doubt that this woman's business will be even noticed in the neighborhood, certainly not enough to be considered an intrusion or an offense to anyone. There won't be lines of cars crowding the street with rambunctious customers waiting for their turns. With only one seat, with only one beautician, most, if not all of her clients, would come by appointment. They would arrive and depart quietly, one at a time, like good neighbors, but looking a little better and maybe feeling a little better than when they came in. Not a bad business. Not a bad business indeed. I wish her luck and much success.

Richard Fox

Ellicott City

We want your opinions

THE ISSUE: The Howard County Central Library in Columbia will be open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays in late spring and summer. All other branches of the library system are closed Sundays through Sept. 4. Do you plan take advantage of the Sunday hours? And do you think all county libraries should be open Sundays during the summer?

YOUR VIEW: Tell us what you think. Send e-mail responses by Thursday to howard.speakout@baltsun.com. A selection of responses will be published Sunday. Please keep your responses short and include your name, address and telephone number. Addresses and phone numbers will not be published.

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