City makes change to regs for home-based businesses

By Rod Haxton, editor

Regulations regarding home-based businesses in Scott City have been eased a little with the passing of an ordinance at Monday’s city council meeting.

Home-based businesses are now allowed to operate out of an “unattached, accessory building.” In the past, these businesses were restricted to operating within the primary residence.

The size of the “accessory building” is subject to zoning codes.

Whenever a home-based business is established within the city the owners/operators are required to get a permit from City Hall. However, there is no cost for the permit.

“This is simply to make the city aware of the business so that we know planning and zoning guidelines are being followed,” explains City Clerk Brenda Davis.

The ordinance approved by the council also defines what types of home-based businesses are allowed. In addition, the business owner can have only one employee working on the premises who isn’t a resident of the home.

As a further restriction on retail businesses, the owner can host “parties” no more than one time per month. It cannot operate as a typical retail business with regular hours and multiple days each week.


City Council President Everett Green noted that retail businesses are prohibited in residential areas because of the traffic they generate which can be a nuisance to neighbors.

“Depending on the location, perhaps a home-based business that operates similar to a retail store isn’t a major problem. Maybe the traffic doesn’t bother the neighbors.

“But, that may not be true of another person who operates their business in a similar manner, but in a different location. We have to enforce our ordinances in a way that’s fair for everyone.”

That was the same concern expressed by Councilwoman Barb Wilkinson.

“How do you say yes to one and no to another?” she wondered.

Looking at the list of prohibited uses for in-home businesses, Wilkinson said she was aware of at least one instance where “retail and wholesale sales” was taking place in a residential area.

“Who’s responsible for notifying them?” she asked.

City Attorney John Shirley said zoning administrator Paul Kasselman has the task of notifying individuals when they are in violation of city codes.

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