Home salon permit delayed over technicality questions

Published 9:30 am Thursday, June 6, 2024

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners has postponed a decision on a permit for a salon home business over a pair of technicalities holding up the issue.

Brent and April Loftin requested approval of a home occupation certificate to operate a hair salon on Prestwick Drive in the Rosemont community. The couple is building a home in the community with plans to convert one of the bedrooms in the home into a salon.

Normally, salons are an approved home occupation use in the Agricultural Residential zone where the Loftins are planning the home but only for lot sizes of at least 2 acres. Their lot size is 1.84 acres so the Board of Zoning Appeals referred the issue to the Board of Commissioners, recommending approval in a 3-2 vote.

During a public hearing for the permit, County Attorney Jerry Willis noted another provision is that the home occupation permits may not be approved on parcels that do not have a home existing on the lot or parcel at the time of application for a home occupation. The Loftins are in the early stages of constructing the home but it’s far from completed and ready for occupancy.

Further complicating the issue, only two commissioners were able to vote on the issue after Commissioner Ellis Cadenhead recused himself from the discussion. Cadenhead recused himself because he and one of the applicants, April Loftin, are candidates running for election to the Commissioners seat for District 2. Candidate James Thrailkill similarly recused himself from the Board of Zoning Appeals recommendation on the permit for the same reasoning.

The board was also down another member as Commissioner Lewis Davis was absent due to being out of town on vacation.

No one opposed the permit during the public hearing. The applicants also presented the commissioners with a petition from everyone in the neighborhood indicating they do not have a problem with the home business.

Willis suggested that the issue could potentially be resolved with a variance but it would need to be sent back to the zoning board because the commissioners do not issue variances. He also indicated that the commissioners could potentially simply approve the permit as the language in the code is “permissive.”

“It doesn’t say ‘shall not,’ It doesn’t say it ‘must not.’ It says ‘may not.’ And I think one interpretation of that is that this is permissive. And you can determine those words permissive in this instance,” Willis said. “It’s the authority you have to give a home occupation.”

Ultimately, the Board of Commissioners elected to take the issue to a second reading and will further consider the permit at the June 18 meeting.