New Home Business Rules Up For Town Council Review

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A new set of rules and regulations for home-based businesses will be presented to the Payson Town Council, following the Planning and Zoning Commission's fine-tuning of Town Manager Rich Underkofler's latest draft on Monday.

While the commission finally approved the eight-page document unanimously, it looked for a while like Underkofler would be sent back to the drawing board once again. The major hangup was a new provision allowing a home-based business to employ one non-resident employee without a conditional-use permit.

"I was on the town council when home-based businesses were a cottage industry, and I think we could let this get out of hand," said commission Chairperson Ruth Craig. As passed, the existing regulation regarding non-resident employees, will remain intact prohibiting any "employees outside the resident family, unless approved by council as a conditional use ..."

Craig said another revision that made the commission more comfortable in approving the document was a provision stating that "a violation of the municipal code or a stipulation of a conditional-use permit shall be cause for revocation of a business license." A simple word change from "may" to "shall" made all the difference, Craig said.

"Now we're saying that we won't tolerate any businesses that don't live by the rules," she said.

The town council originally became interested in relaxing the regulations as a way to "facilitate economic development of home based businesses doing trade and providing services over the Internet." The Planning and Zoning Commission has devoted several entire meetings to the subject, with Underkofler preparing revisions to address concerns raised after each meeting.

It also was announced at the meeting that Jeff Blilie, the town's assistant attorney, has resigned to take a similar post with the town of Surprise July 1.

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