Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Home Occupation Glacier Shifts

Per public notice in the Crier and the City website:


A public meeting will be held before the Dunwoody Community Council on Thursday, September 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Dunwoody City Hall, 41 Perimeter Center East, Dunwoody, Georgia 30346, for the purpose of due process of the following:

Amendments to the text of Chapter 27, Sections 27-183, 27-185, and 27-1321 regarding home occupations in the R-100 (Single-Family Residential) District and “Supplemental Regulations.”

For further information please call the Community Development Department at (678) 382-6800.
Agenda isn't posted by the City yet.  However the sections involved are currently worded as the following:

Sec. 27-183. - Principal uses and structures.

The following principal uses of land and structures shall be authorized in the R-100 (Single-Family Residential) District:
(1) Detached single-family dwelling.
(2) Personal care home, family.
(3) Personal care home, registered.
(4) Stable.

Sec. 27-185. - Special permits.The following uses and structures shall be authorized only by permits of the type indicated:
(1)  Special administrative permit from city manager or his designee: Home occupation involving no customer contact and no employee other than a person residing on the premises.
(2)  Special exception permit from the zoning board of appeals: Utility structure necessary for the transmission or distribution of service.
(3)  Special land use permit from city council:
a.  Adult day care facility.
b.  Amateur radio service antenna exceeding 70 feet.
c.  Cemetery, columbarium, or mausoleum.
d.  Child day care facility.
e.  Convent or monastery.
f.  Home occupation involving any customer contact.
g. Home stay bed and breakfast residence.
h. Neighborhood recreation club.
i.  Place of worship.
j.  Private elementary, middle and high school.
k. Congregate personal care home if located on a campus of no less than 25 acres.
Sec. 27-1321. - Home occupations and private educational uses.

The following provisions shall apply to home occupations. Private educational uses shall only be required to comply with subsections (1), (2), (3), (4) and (8) of this section:
(1)  There shall be no exterior evidence of the home occupation.
(2)  No use shall create noise, dust, vibration, odor, smoke, glare or electrical interference that would be detectable beyond the dwelling unit.

(3)  The use shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit, and only persons living in the dwelling unit shall be employed at the location of the home occupation.
(4)  No more than 25 percent of the dwelling unit and in no case more than 500 square feet, whichever is less, may be used for the conduct of the home occupation.
(5)  No use shall involve public contact on the property and no article, product or service shall be sold on the premises other than by telephone.
(6)  No materials or equipment shall be stored on the premises upon which the home occupation is located, except where such materials and equipment are stored entirely within the residence.
(7)  No vehicle other than a passenger automobile, passenger van, or passenger truck shall be used in the conduct of a home occupation, and no other vehicle shall be parked or stored on such premises.
(8)  No home occupation shall be operated so as to create or cause a nuisance.

(9)  Home occupation shall not include the use of a dwelling unit for the purpose of operating any automobile repair establishment, taxi service, van service, limousine service, wrecker service, car wash, or ammunition or firearms sales establishment.
I can think of a number of changes that could be made to the above ordinances to make business easier and less expensive while still protecting the residential nature of the neighborhood and respecting the rights of residents who do not conduct business from home.

I can also think of verbage that should be clarified.  For example in (8) above - define "nuisance".  I can think of residential activities that create a greater nuisance than a home-based business.  I'd like to see the City (at whatever level - commission, council, manager, etc) set a single standard on what should be a tolerable level of activity, and what is an over-the-line "nuisance" for all activity in a traditionally residential community, regardless of purpose and then write your codes accordingly to encompass home-based employees.

Finally - why just R100?  Why not include R75 and R50 zoned areas?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I'm going to try to make this meeting.  Anyone else have any input or info on this discussion coming up?

1 comment:

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

The agenda with associated notes are now posted.
Here's the agenda (copy/paste....)

Here's the change in verbage memorandum:

One more time - why is this only in the R100 zoning districts? The SLUP that shed light on the zoning restrictions was zoned R50.

I think this is a step in the right direction, and I believe the provisions described protect non-business-owners' rights.

If I'm able to make the meeting, I have a list of questions. Anyone else???