Confirmed victory

Allow Highland, MD resident to keep his farm and buildings intact

This petition made change with 2,553 supporters!



         A historic farm located in Highland, MD is in danger of being lost forever to the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning. Scott Shearer of Hi-Land Farm restores antique fire trucks as a hobby and almost a year ago the DPZ came along and decided the farm isn’t zoned for his hobby. 

         Taken from the Baltimore Sun article, “In Highland, community will clashes with code over antique firetrucks,”

         At a total of 13,000 sq. ft., the four barns on Mr. Shearer’s property exceed the 2,200 sq. ft. allowance for accessory structures on a lot that, like his, is zoned rural residential and is larger than 3 acres.

While there is no cap on the size of the buildings used for agricultural purposes on rural residential land, storing fire trucks is not considered an angricutual use, per the zoning regulations. Mr. Shearer points out that his vehicles alone take up just 2,300 sq. ft.

         Mr. Shearer’s use of HIS buildings has impacted NOT ONE neighbor surrounding his property. So what has our government come to that it’s wasting OUR tax dollars to harass a tax-paying citizen about his property?
         The Howard County DPZ claims to be 100% complaint driven; yet not one single complaint was made about Mr. Shearer’s building use. Considering how much property Mr. Shearer owns, there is no doubt in our minds that the corrupt Howard County DPZ is looking to develop Hi-Land Farm for housing or commercial development.



            Hi-Land Farm was once the largest dairy farm in Howard County and the most modern operation on the Eastern Seaboard during the 1950s-60s. It was owned and operated for 38 years by the Allnutt Family.

         The timesaving and ingenious methods at Hi-Land Farm were so ahead of their time that Hi-Land Farm was visited by dignitaries from all over the world. Mr. Shearer has photocopies of all the business cards and signatures from the worldwide visitors, proof of Hi-Land Farm’s past fame.

The famed Hi-Land dairy operation and farm eventually fell into disrepair when the Allnutt couple could no longer keep up with running everything. The entire lot had been vacant for several years until Mr. Shearer came along and purchased it from Mrs. Allnutt. Mr. Shearer restored everything from the barns to the fields to the uninhabitable house on the property. It was a labor of love and sweat and Mr. Shearer is loath to move from his beloved farm.


Hi-Land Farm is home to a wide diversity of animals.

Mr. Shearer houses free ranging cows for a beef operation based out of Libertytown. There are approximately 6 cows at this time, including a newly delivered calf.

Mr. Shearer also runs a small horse boarding facility. There are currently 6 horses here. The horses are all loved and cared for by their owners who use the large property Mr. Shearer owns to horseback ride and graze their horses.

Lastly, there are 2 lambs and 1 miniature cow. All of these animals serve to make Hi-Land Farm a fun and enjoyable place for all animal lovers to relax. If Mr. Shearer is to lose his farm, all of these hapless and innocent animals will lose their home.



For the almost a YEAR, Mr. Shearer has been engaged in a back-and-forth with the zoning agency to come to an acceptable solution for both parties. Mr. Shearer has applied for variances and a conditional use to make the barns into a museum, a measure that DPZ officials say could allow his barns — and the fire trucks inside those barns — to stay.

This is where we need YOUR help. Please attend Mr. Shearer’s hearing to give voice to this outrage that is happening right in your community. Please help us save our beloved farm from development. In Howard County we are tired of losing our precious farmland and green space for the sake of developers greasing their pockets. This is our home and we cannot let the government push us around. They are SUPPOSED to be our elected officials and speaking with OUR voice.

The hearing for Mr. Shearer’s conditional use and variances will be held September 11, 2014 at 6:00pm in the George Howard Building at Ellicott City.

With this petition I want to gather signatures and support for Mr. Shearer's cause. I realize that not everyone can attend the meeting and this will supplement that. Let's prove to the Howard County government how far citizens are willing to go to support each other. Please sign this petition to show the Howard County DPZ how much we are against the corrupt enforcement of their own agendas. Let Howard County history remained unmoved. Let the farm animals live out their lives in the peace and comfort of Hi-Land Farm. LET MR. SHEARER KEEP HIS FARM.

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Beth Hands needs your help with “Howard County Department of Zoning and Development: Allow Highland, MD resident to keep his farm and buildings intact”. Join Beth and 2,552 supporters today.