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Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 1998

COMMISSIONERS STILL NEED TO DO HOMEWORK ON HOME BUSINESSES

October 20, 1998

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Douglas County commissioners came a step closer Monday to drafting recommendations to their planning counterparts about home-occupation regulations.

They did not wrap up their work, however, opting to continue their discussions next week.

But here's a rundown on what direction they are leaning:

  • Allowing an undetermined amount of employees outside the family to work for the business, perhaps from four to six. Currently, regulations state that only one outside employee may work for the owner of a home business.
  • Making it mandatory that the owner reside on the property where the business is located.
  • Creating standards to allow service-related industries such as welding, machine shops and plumbing to be considered home occupations. Current regulations don't allow such industries as home occupations.
  • Allowing the use of heavy equipment as long as certain standards are met.

Home-occupation regulations define the parameters for operating a business out of a home. The county's meetings on the topic have drawn several people, including some who now are violating zoning regulations.

The board has said it has no desire to put anybody out of business, and commissioners also say they don't want zoning and codes director Keith Dabney to spend his time patrolling the county for violations.

What they are interested in, they say, is coming up with regulations that everyone can live with -- that aren't so strict people can't make a living but aren't so permissive neighbors are put out.

The commission will meet again at 9 a.m. Monday at the courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.

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