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Story published: 02-04-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Jonesborough Planning Commission approves residence for garage work

By Meghan McCoy
Staff Writer

At a recent meeting, Joneborough resident Gary Lykins asked the Jonesborough Planning Commission to review the Customary Incidental Home Occupation ordinance to determine if he can do limited mechanical work from home.

According to a letter Lykins submitted, he wants to use his detached garage, 24-feet-by-28-feet, for minimal weekend auto repair projects for friends and family. Also, the garage would occasionally be used to diagnose electrical problems for other shops.

The ordinance states “the home occupation shall not utilize more than one-third of the area of the principal building not to exceed 500 square feet.”

Board Member Hal Knight said if the principal residence includes the house and garage, Lykins has the necessary square footage.

“In order to allow him 500 square feet you have to consider the house,” he said.

Attorney Jim Wheeler said the principal building means the house and attached garage, but not an outbuilding.

Since the limit is 500 square feet, Lykins would not be able to use eight feet of his garage.

Cars parked in the driveway were also discussed. Wheeler said as long as the cars are tagged and registered it will not cause a problem. He said multiple vehicles can be parked on the lot.

“The zoning folks check to see if vehicles are tagged and registered,” Wheeler explained.

The ordinance states traffic and parking from the home occupation shall not be significantly different from a single family residence.

The home occupation may also employ one non-resident.

Lykins cannot display external evidence of the occupation, except for “an unanimated, non-illuminated flat or window sign” of not more than 200 square inches in area, according to the ordinance.

Lykins letter states that there will be no signage.

Board Member Terry Countermine made the motion to consider the house and garage as the primary residence, with 500 square feet eligible for mechanic work in the garage.

The commission approved the motion unanimously.

Town Administrator Bob Browning said the concept is designed to allow someone who does not have a large customer base to work from home to earn extra income.

He said occupations might include accounting or working as a hair stylist.

“(It is) intended to keep the character of a residential community, but allow people who have limited clientele to legitimately carry on a business at their home,” Browning said.