The hottest thing down at Payson Town Hall these days is home businesses.
The Town Council decided that given the sluggishness of normal business in Payson, maybe these mom-and-pop operations ought to be encouraged especially the ones that are Internet-based. Such businesses, they reasoned, are especially attractive because, unlike old-fashioned home businesses like day care or auto repair, they don't make a lot of noise or attract unwanted traffic to neighborhoods.
Besides, Internet-based home businesses are a big component of something called the "New Economy," and even though nobody knows exactly what that is, everybody wants to be part of it.
To make a long column short, the council asked the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission to come up with some modifications to the existing home business regulations designed to make it easier to operate an Internet-based business out of your home.
It wasn't long before the commission, along with Town Manager Rich Underkofler (and probably the town's legal department) decided that any changes in the rules better apply to all home businesses, not just those doing business over the Internet.
Next, the planning and zoning folks balked at some of the changes Underkofler proposed, so he brought back a new document that got very specific as to such things as what types of businesses were strictly prohibited, what size and how many trucks could be associated with home businesses, and how many non-resident employees could work for a home business.
As you may have already guessed, the more questions that were raised, the more verbiage that got added to the point where planning and zoning said to Underkofler, "We are now thoroughly confused so you need to take this whole idea back to the drawing board."
That's where things stand. But since I think relaxing home business regulations is a good thing, I have an idea for moving them back onto the fast track. It's based on the premise that Underkofler's big mistake was to include a specific list of banned businesses.
For the record, they are barber shops and beauty salons; auto repair shops; kennels, stables, pet grooming services and veterinary clinics; medical and dental clinics; restaurants, clubs and drinking establishments; undertaking and funeral parlors; and last, but not least, adult entertainment establishments, adult retail establishments, and, of course, adult theaters.
Underkofler's next draft should include a list of encouraged businesses home businesses that would make our Rim country neighborhoods better places to live. Here, then, is my list of the Top 10 Home Businesses that Payson Needs:
Who you gonna call for that problem with noisy neighbors or teenagers? Motorbikes or ATVs? Barking dogs or fighting cats? That's right Noisebusters. They'll get the job done one way or another. No questions asked, of course.
In an era of single moms, this is an operation that should be busy around the clock. Need a lawn mowed? A child disciplined? Just somebody to hang out for appearances sake? Rent-A-Dad is the answer.
The trend in the big city is neighborhood micro-breweries. We propose taking the concept to the extreme with breweries that ferment just about anything your neighborhood has in excess. Dandelions. Or rusted washing machines. Or dead cats.
7. TRUCK DETECTIVES
One of the big hang-ups planning and zoning had with home businesses was what kinds and sizes of trucks should be allowed. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't know the difference between a 3/4-ton and a one-ton truck if I got run over by them. That's why we need a home business like Truck Detectives a company you can call when you need a truck investigated in your neighborhood.
6. SPEED BUMPS 'R US
Everybody wants speed bumps installed in their neighborhood to slow down those non-residents who insist on taking shortcuts en route to the Indianapolis 500. Call these guys and they'll be out in a flash to put one right in front of your house.
5. SPEED BUMPS NO MORE
Everybody who takes an occasional shortcut through a neighborhood hates those bone-jarring speed bumps installed by Speed Bumps 'R Us. Now, with Speed Bumps No More, their removal is just a phone call away.
Juniperberry.com would offer: 1) a profitable way to get rid of the tons and tons of juniper berries generated each year in the Rim country. 2) sell whatever we want at this site.
Want to know which of your neighbors are using more than their share of the Rim country's most precious commodity? The folks at WaterLog have up-to-the-minute consumption printouts, making it easy for you to decide which home needs a gentle conservation reminder in the form of, oh, say a vigilante raid under cover of darkness.
2. GOSSIP QUENCHERS
Every small-town neighborhood has a problem with rumors and gossip. Never again will they talk behind your back once yours gets a branch of the home business known as Gossip Quenchers. We can't reveal exactly how they work, but if you guessed flushing and fire hoses might be critical components, you're not far off the mark.
What neighborhood hasn't had a problem with these obnoxious critters eating all the vegetation in sight? One call to Pig-Out and your javelina problem is history.