Council Considers Easing Home Business Rules

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Relaxing zoning regulations that constrain home-based Internet businesses tops a long agenda for the Payson Town Council's regular meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at Town Hall.

"Some of our zoning regulations on home businesses are regarded as a constraint upon the future development of Payson's transition to the 'new economy,'" said Town Manager Rich Underkofler. The "new economy," he added, "generally means transactions over the Internet."

Proposed changes would classify a home business as an "accessory use" if it is only used by the residents of the primary dwelling, is conducted entirely within the structure, and is incidental to the primary use of the dwelling. Professional services and offices, which are currently not valid home businesses would become so.

Other proposed changes include removing wording that currently permits only one commercial delivery vehicle per day; increasing the percentage of ground floor area in the primary dwelling unit that can be used for a home business from 20 to 30 percent; and adding language that would allow "all of the area of an accessory structure (such as a garage or barn) to be used for a home business."

Finally, the council will consider allowing a home business to employ one person who is not a family member, with a conditional use permit required for additional employees. Current regulations require a conditional use permit for anyone who is not an immediate family member.

Underkofler said the proposed changes are in line with council initiatives adopted in January during the Payson Focused Future Plan for Economic Development.

In other business, the council will consider proposed restrictions on amplification equipment at Green Valley Park, bicycles in the Rumsey Park skatepark, and the use of stakes in both Green Valley and Rumsey parks.

The amplification restrictions a response to complaints about noise by nearby residents at the last council meeting would ban use of such equipment as amplifiers and portable and car radios and stereos at volumes that can be heard at a distance of 150 feet or more. Their use would be banned entirely after 10:30 p.m.

Restrictions would not apply to the town-sponsored summer concert series or use of the public address system during town-sponsored events.

The proposed ban of bicycles at the skatepark would also include tricycles, gopeds and motorized vehicles.

Because of the unique nature of the Payson Event Center, the council also will consider adding a new section to the town code establishing separate rules and regulations for that facility. Those regulations ban overnight camping and establish the amount of advance notice for events requiring lighting and arena preparation.

The council also is expected to approve a call for bids to cover two sets of bleachers on the south side of the Event Center and two on the north side.

A new community center will move one step closer to reality if the town council approves a request to hire a professional design consultant to conduct a feasibility study and needs assessment for such a facility at Rumsey Park.

The study would include a community survey and an alternative site analysis, and would identify potential funding sources. At a meeting in February, the council rearranged its 2001 Corporate Strategic Plan priorities, agreeing to pay cash for the new public library under construction at Rumsey Park so the $240,000 earmarked for debt service on that project could be applied to a new multi-generational community recreation center.

As envisioned by Mayor Ray Schum, the community center might include a basketball court, fitness center, classrooms and a lap pool.

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