Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Local govts lightening up on home businesses


Across the street, in what people sort of slyly refer to as my “working class neighborhood” (meaning the police, not some snooty homeowner cabal, keep the peace), some young guys have a car reupholstering business. Very kewl custom cars come and go. Nice eye candy.

I don’t love their friend with the motorcycle roaring around, but I would have to see a war getting started to call the cops on anyone. I avoid cops.

Jennifer Levitz, WSJ, Feb 13, 2010, says even some storefront businesses are coming home now due to crummy economy, so rules and regs are being looked at and relaxed. This refers to parking, traffic noise, and other serenity issues in formerly sleepy neighborhoods.

Some places, for instance, allow home businesses so long as customers or clients don’t come to the house.

In Nashville, it’s estimated that 14,000 businesses now operate illegally.

One was a guy in Gilbert AZ (few miles from here), who had 40 huge tanks of fish he took to pet stores. The joint was developing a telltale, shall we say, STENCH? They said it was a home-based warehouse in an area not zoned for it, but this was overturned because the fish guy said it was temporary. Actually some neighbors defended him. Times are bad. One man said if this is what he had to do, it’s not bothering me.

Another woman in Nashville had a beauty chair and a tanning bed in her garage with a small sign outside. She was tagged for having people come to the house. A councilman proposed a narrow exception for home-based beauty parlors, but it was rejected for being unfair to other businesses.

The councilman may try again to get the rules changed. A second rent, a second electric bill, he said, can be the breaking point.

If you are thinking of complaining about someone, why not think of their family--they are just trying to survive.

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