Neighbors oppose in-home business on Elm Street
A conditional-use permit request to open a single-physician chiropractic office in a home at 153 Elm Street was opposed by neighboring property owners, who voiced their concerns during a hearing on Monday. The neighbors and an attorney representing one homeowner told members of the Board of Adjustment (BOA) that an in-home business on Elm Street will intrude upon a residential neighborhood whose residents have fought to protect for at least three decades. "They've done their darnedest to keep it a residential neighborhood and that's why they're here tonight," said attorney William Moore. He presented a petition with the names of "nearly every neighbor" who are opposed to this request for a home occupation in an Elm Street residence. "I am aware that commercial intrusion in residential areas diminishes the value of property - and that's one of my chief concerns," said longtime Elm Street resident Read Miller. "I know that it doesn't speak to the ordinance (and therefore cannot be considered by the BOA), but it's a fact of life..." "I know what my property's worth and it'll be diminished," said Jim Navolio, also a longtime Elm Street resident, "if you allow commercial enterprises - regardless of what's allowed under the ordinance..." An attorney representing Brandi Jones began the hearing by reminding BOA members that her request meets all of the criteria in the ordinance, which allows a home occupation as a conditional use in the R-1A residential district. "Your ordinance allows a (home occupation) use ... in this neighborhood," said attorney Randy Strobo. "...And it satisfies every provision of the home occupancy definition." The chiropractic office would be located in a 255 square-foot room with a private entrance, according to the application seeking a conditional-use permit. Jones would operate the business with no employees and incorporate gaps in client scheduling to prevent overlap and minimize traffic issues, Strobo said. Charles Jones and his daughter, who co-own the property at 153 Elm Street, responded to the concerns of their Elm Street neighbors. "We're going to improve the property and maintain the value of the property ... So I'm going to do nothing to deteriorate the value of your property," Charles Jones told them. "I love the home," said Brandi Jones, who moved here in May. "I want to make the home look better than it already does..." BOA members voted unanimously to keep the hearing open until its July 10 meeting so they can receive input from board attorney Tim Butler on what they can legally consider when making a decision to approve or not approve a conditional-use permit to operate an in-home chiropractic office at 153 Elm Street. "If there's no violation of the ordinance and they comply with all the conditional uses (for a home occupation)," said BOA member Frank Stark, "I think we have an issue about declining this (application) ... even with the groundswell of disapproval from the people who live on that street." Other issues of concern raised by Elm Street neighbors during Monday's hearing included increasing traffic and setting a precedent that could result in more businesses locating in their residential neighborhood. BOA member David Prewitt was not present at the meeting. Variances denied The BOA denied two requests for front-yard variances that would have allowed the installation of six-foot-high privacy fences at 76 Hanover Court (Patrick Shulze) and 496 Drake Landing (Leonid Voznyuk) in Gleneagles Estates. Both requests were denied because they did not meet all four of the general criteria for a variance in that the requests were a result of actions taken by the applicants. In their requests, the homeowners stated that the variances would allow them to have the full use of their yards, which are corner lots. Shulze told BOA members that this variance would also allow him to install a fence that provides privacy when he brings home equipment from his business.