Council Mulls Broader Rules For Home-Based Businesses

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The Payson Town Council will try to put to rest the long-smoldering issue of home businesses at 6 p.m. Thursday night when it considers a new set of regulations recently approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The eight-page document, written and fine-tuned by Town Manager Rich Underkofler over the course of several drafts, replaces two pages of regulations in the unified development code.

While the Town Council originally took up the subject to "facilitate economic development" of Internet businesses, the new regulations are, in some cases, more restrictive than the ones they are replacing.

A list of prohibited home-based businesses has been gradually expanded so that it now includes barber shops and beauty salons; sales of goods delivered on the premises; motor vehicle repair services; kennels, stables, pet grooming services, and veterinarian clinics; medical and dental clinics; restaurants, clubs and drinking establishments; undertaking and funeral parlors; adult entertainment and retail establishments; taxi services, transit, express mail or package carriers; and storage of firewood for sale.

As approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission, the new regulations also require a conditional use permit for a non-resident employee, and only one such employee is allowed. Another revision made by the commission states that "a violation of the municipal code or a stipulation of a conditional use permit shall be cause for revocation of a business license."

"We're saying that we won't tolerate any businesses that don't live by the rules," said Planning and Zoning Chairperson Ruth Craig.

Also on the agenda is adoption of the Year 2001 Payson Corporate Strategic Plan, the document that provides strategies and benchmarks for the council to follow. The latest changes to that document include $22,000 for the D.A.R.E. Program if grants are not received to cover its cost, $20,000 for a more aggressive water conservation program, and $5,000 to maintain and clean-up the proposed Rumsey Dog Park.

In other action, the council is expected to approve a new contract between the town and the Arizona Department of Environmental Equality to provide for remediation of contaminated groundwater through a treatment facility at 204 West Aero Drive. The original contract signed in 1998 to treat groundwater contaminated by hazardous substances including tetrachloroethylene and petroleum hydrocarbons expires on June 30.

The council will also consider authorizing intergovernmental agreements for the Payson Fire Department to provide services to the communities of East Verde Park and Round Valley-Ox Bow Estates, as well as RIDI, Limited Partnership that owns the Fox Farm at the end of Granite Dells Road.

Also on the agenda for Thursday evening are two requests for special event liquor licenses, one by B.P.O.E. Lodge 2154 for a fund-raising event on July 28 and 29, and the other by Rim Country Hospice Foundation for a fund-raising event on Sept. 29.

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