Spring Creek home occupancy rule passes first reading | Local

SPRING CREEK — The Spring Creek Association’s Architectural Committee has unanimously approved the first reading of a revised home occupancy bylaw after weeks of debate and revisions.

The draft, dated May 27, defines a home occupation business as “a use otherwise permitted by law which is incidental to the primary residential purpose and which does not change the residential character of the premises” and must be approved by the Architectural Committee.

The committee also approved an amendment to the motion, separating two additional pages from the draft that were labeled as “requirements for a home occupancy permit”, to be revised and brought back to the COA for discussion.

The permit application asks business owners for listing information, including type of occupancy, proposed sign, parking requirements, hours of operation, and an option to advertise and market the business for a fee of $50. It also lists the requirements to be followed by a home occupation; definitions of house, premises and accessory structure; and examples of previously granted home occupations.

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The characteristics of a home occupation stipulate that it must be exercised in the house or in an auxiliary structure on the property, that at least one permanent resident of the house works for the home occupation and that it does not generate no excessive foot or vehicular traffic, noise, odors, dust or smoke on an ongoing basis.

Additionally, it must not be a business “permitted in a commercial zoning designation or as a conditional use for the zoning district for which the premises are located, as defined by the reservation statement of the Spring Creek association”.

No home occupancy permit is required for residents working from home for themselves or for a third party employer who does not generate third party foot traffic.

The one-time permit fee paid by a first-time applicant listed in a previous draft has been removed by the ACO in the updated version of the rules.

Some residents expressed concerns about the bylaw at Monday’s meeting, asking the committee to explain why it was necessary to implement it.

Spring Creek Association resident Tess Andreozzi, who also owns Andreozzi Training Stable, pointed out that the association’s statement of reservations and Elko County ordinances were sufficient to guide homeowners’ association members regarding a home business.

“I really don’t know why we’re still looking at this and why it’s even here,” she said. “Our DORs specifically state home occupancies. We have county ordinances that tell us what we can and cannot do. Nuisances, conditional uses, permitted uses.”

Another North Slope Taxidermy resident and owner, Gary Powell, agreed with Andreozzi about DORs and told the committee he understood the goal of revising the bylaw but the new home occupancy rules seemed too restrictive for small businesses.

“There’s a better avenue for the COA to navigate what’s trying to be done. What that exact answer is, I can’t tell you,” he said.

He made some suggestions to make the project “simple”, including asking the committee to separate enforcement of the rules from the project and inviting owners to register their business and sign an agreement to track and comply with DORs.

“If you could create a small business home occupancy rulebook that gives all the DORs that relate to ownership – which I know we have, and I know the argument is that people don’t read not – it’s not your problem. It’s their responsibility,” he said.

Andreozzi and Powell also questioned the COA’s authority to implement and enforce the settlement. They pointed to a recent Nevada Supreme Court decision in Moretto v. Elk Point Country Club Homeowners Association Inc. of Douglas County.

Lawyer Katie McConnell, representing the SCA, said the ruling adopts Section 6.7 Restatement of Property Easements, which gives the association “power to enact reasonable rules designed to protect members of the community from interference. unreasonable in the enjoyment of their privately owned lots or units”.

McConnell explained that the purpose of the Home Occupancy Regulations is to define the difference between home-based businesses, work-from-home and commercial businesses for landlords in light of complaints from neighbors.

“We legitimately have business enterprises operating under the guise of a home occupation permit, saying it’s home occupation and it’s not. It’s a business enterprise in its own right, and these are the complaints the COA and SCA often receive,” McConnell said.

She also addressed Powell’s comment on the regulation restricting small businesses, noting that the home occupancy rule considers all homeowners with or without a business.

“He’s not trying to restrict small businesses at all,” she said. “We have to do something to address all owners, and that’s where this rule comes from because there really is no definition” in the DORs.

COA member Nick Czegledi agreed with Powell’s concerns and explained that the committee had spent weeks gathering feedback and refining the home occupancy regulations, “and I think we’re got to the point where we have to do something about this rule.”

“I think we’re at the point now where we’ve had many meetings — we’ve had four — and we’ve discussed everything,” he continued. “We listened to everyone we could, lots of people, and came up with what I think is the best solution to this problem.”

The rule “probably isn’t perfect, but it’s the best solution we have at the moment,” Czegledi said. He added that he’s open to addressing it again and changing it in the future. “, but we have to start with the dot, and I think that’s a good place to start.”

The second reading of the home occupancy rule will take place at the next regular ACO meeting scheduled for July 11.