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Zoning and operating your business from home..

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by upsondown, Feb 27, 2004.

  1. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    I made a recent post about radius of mileage that you guys work and the first response brought up a major question in my mind....since the first post stated that his office is his garage... I'm curious to know if those of you who do operate from your homes have any major zoning issues that you are dealt with because of it? I guess we are so close to EPA that none of the LCO's that I know of would even consider taking the risk - since we are so heavily regulated with hazmat storage - ie., fuel, oil, pesticides. I'm just wondering how some of you guys manage to pull it off.........of have you even thought about it? How do you pass your quarterly inspections?
  2. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    You have quarterly inspections.Whats that and by what agency. Our zoning here is, if they neighbors dont complain about traffic or smells we dont have to apply for home based business permit.
  3. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Zoning is really obnoxious.

    Here, as soon as apartments or homes are built in an area, existing businesses become "nonconforming"

    Once that happens, they can not make any improvements to their building. Business is forced farther and farther to the fringe.

    Business's that have been here 30 years are called "nonconforming use of a residential zone" even though there may not have been a home in sight when they started.

    Many zoning ordinances specifically disallow "non-professional" services such as lawn or construction or excavation.

    But if a Lowe's, Target, or Wal-Mart wants to build on farmland, no problem, they just "re-zone"

    Basically, zoning laws make it very expensive to exist because they force lawn operators to the fringe of the city, it still costs a fortune esp if you are required to be in Light Industrial or M1 zoning. Customers still choose the scrub who does a $200 job for $75.

    It's really bad, the people who put on pretty clothes and drive 4 cylinder cars to work will always look down on the service industry, but will want you there in 15 minutes for $20 when they need you.

    All I can say is get involved, tell your city council what is on your mind, be part of the process instead of just a victim.

    Its so bad here that on major thoroughfare streets that have churches and apartment buildings and stores, lawn care and contractor's yards are not allowed. Albemarle County administrators will allow a 50 unit nasty apartment complex but not a business that only employs 5 people and generates virtually no traffic.

    Fight them every chance you get and point out how little common sense they are exhibiting.

    Get a business address (like at a relative's property) for your "official" address, and just "bring a truck home" like the guy who works for the electric company does, etc.

  4. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Thats rediculous, but its our fault. Most people will cry about gay marraiges, while the city council or county commission passes these laws. And most probably dont evan know who they are.
  5. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    Our quarterly inspectons are fire and safety inspections - as well as EPA inspections for herbicides. Then once every 6 months we have a conformity report that has to be filed... Oh yeah - we also have a quarterly recycling report that is required now too, as well as oil disposal reports. After all that - we get time to go out and make money..
  6. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    oh yeah - and a water backflow prevention report. almost forgot that one.
  7. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    I live on commercial prop......
  8. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    you can reside on commercial property? geesh - that would never fly here.
  9. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 251

    Hey Albemarle..... where at do you live - In the county - or in city limits of c'vlle? Just curious.
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    everybody here "runs thier business" from thier home. there is a tiny patch of woods behind my yard, i don't own it. some moron, came in the middle of the night, and dumped a truckload of debris in the woods. the owner saw it, saw my trucks, put 2 and 2 together, and assumed it was me. he called the zoning board, the building inspecter came over as i was loading the trailer one morning. "is this your house?" yup i said. "is this your business?" yup, i said. "you know, you're not allowed to run a business from your home, it's against city ordinence?" i'm not running a business, from my home, i explained. he said, " if you don't get your stuff out of here within 30 days, you will start recieving fines." you are tresspassing, i told him, get off of my property.he said, "how long you been in business?" two days, i told him. got a lawyer, we won. it was all a matter of interpretation. what does it mean to run a business from your home? are there any customers, at your home? nope. do i sell things from my home? nope. an i storing merchandise at my home? nope. my truck, my trailer, and my trimmers, etc, are my TOOLS. is it against city ordinence to bring your TOOLS home from work? nope. i saw my neighbor bring home his laptop, that's how he does his work, and i saw the other guy, bring a briefcase home, these are thier tools. u make me move mine, you will make every single person in this town, who brings home a laptop, briefcase, toolbox, or pencil for that matter, start paying fines. i won, and my stuff remains in my garage

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