Neighbors of an entrepreneur who lives in Stevenson are contesting his proposal to build two art galleries on his expansive front lawn.

Stephen Geppi, who owns Diamond Comic Distributors in Timonium and Baltimore magazine, bought Cliffeholme, a historically significant house on nearly 10 acres off Stewart Road, for $4.8 million in 2004, according to state property records.

Geppi wants to build the galleries to house his extensive art and comic book collection, according to documents filed with the county. Also part of the plan: a swimming pool, attached pool house and two open-air pavilions.

The buildings are planned for the front lawn because there is no buildable land behind the house, according to the filings.

Neighbors, several of whom also have large front lawns, say Geppi's plan is incompatible with other properties in the area, which serves as a buffer between farmland and high-density housing in the Avalon and Craddock Lane neighborhoods along Reisterstown Road.

Courtesy of the Owings Mills Times.