Commission approves permits

Published 9:30 pm Tuesday, December 4, 2018

On Tuesday, the Troup County Board of Commissioners approved two home occupation permits and discussed minor changes to the county budget.

Both home occupation permits had been discussed during a previous board of commissioners meeting and zoning board meeting, and no one spoke against the rezonings at any of the meetings. Both applicants requested to be allowed to perform administrative tasks related to their businesses — one electrical and one plumbing — at their homes. Clerical work is typically allowed to be performed at residences, but both uses required variances due to the attached businesses not being typically allowed on residential property.

“In our ordinance for residential home occupation, there is a home occupation permitted list. If it is on the list, then I can approve it, and they move forward,” said Jay Anderson, the senior building official for the building, planning and zoning department.

“Pretty much all of those are things that you really can do in an office at a computer, at a phone [with] very little traffic. The ordinance even stresses the fact that really you see the family coming and going like you would, and you don’t see any exterior indication of stuff or equipment. Therefore, the neighbors or the neighborhood wouldn’t really even know that you are running a home occupation business.”

While both applicants stated that they planned to only use home offices for clerical work, Anderson said that he felt that the permitting process was necessary in case future growth alters those plans.

“We actually had that conversation. [The applicant said,] ‘I’m not applying for a plumbing business. I’m applying for bookkeeping,’” Anderson said.

“I look at the nature of the business. What is the business? What could it involve negatively? I play skeptical to play both sides and be devil’s advocate. Therefore, let’s bring it to the board and put all the chips on the table and say what it is going to be. If they say like these two applicants have that all they are doing is bookkeeping, all they are doing is paperwork, invoices, payroll, it is still the nature of the business. It is electrical or a plumber, and I have seen them grow.”

The board of commissioners did ask that certain requirements listed for home occupation business be reviewed during the upcoming rewrite of the zoning ordinance.

“You do realize the truck that I drive home every day is a ¾ of a ton truck, and it is 10,000 pounds heavy,” Commissioner Lewis Davis said. “Under these regulations, I couldn’t even drive it home [with a home occupation business].”

Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead also asked several questions about the requirements, and Anderson said that they would be evaluated.

Two beer and wine applications were also approved — one for J.J. Food & Family Restaurant on Bartley Road and one for Family Kountry Corner on West Point Road.