Saluda passes home occupation changes

Published 4:46 pm Monday, March 21, 2011

The Saluda Board of Commissioners passed a resolution adopting a new definition for home occupations and new regulations on those businesses.
Saluda Planning Commission Chair Henry Bright said all of the amendments presented related to accessory buildings were accepted.
“There was some discussion during the public hearing but I like the relationship we have with the commissioners, they are very supportive of the planning board. I think we’re making real progress,” Bright said.
Mayor Fred Baisden said while he still has some concerns, he thinks the new definition and clarified regulations will be good for the city.
“I think they addressed most everything, there are a few things that might need tweaking down the road but we’re going to see how they work out for now,” Baisden said. “I think if anything it will give us a little more understanding of what our regulations are.”
The new home occupation definition, as approved by commissioners, reads, “An occupation, profession, activity or use that is clearly a customary, secondary, and incidental use of a residential dwelling unit which does not alter the exterior of the property or affect the residential character of the neighborhood.”
Other changes include verbiage that reads, “The maximum allotted space for any and all home occupations is limited to no more than twenty-five (25) percent of the finished and heated square footage of the residential dwelling and in addition, any and all space needed in one accessory building.”
The regulation also includes a sliding scale for the number of accessory buildings allowed on a given property. The previous ordinance did not limit the number of such buildings.
The new scale allows two accessory buildings totaling no more than 1,000 square feet (maximum of 800 square feet for any one building) for lots up to two acres. Lots more than two acres but no more than four acres would be allowed two accessory buildings up to 1,400 square feet in total (maximum 1,200 square feet for any one building).
Finally, for any lot more than four acres, an owner would be allowed to put into place up to three accessory buildings totaling 1,800 square feet (maximum 1,600 square feet for any one building).
If anything could be an issue down the road, Baisden thinks it could be the allotted size of storage units.
“If you had a 10,000-square-foot lot, it concerns me a bit that you can put the same size storage building as you could on 2 acres,” he said.
It may not become an issue, but Baisden added the city would address those things as they come along.
Bright said the next topic on the Saluda Planning Board’s agenda will be whether conditional use ordinances would be beneficial for Saluda.
The Saluda Planning Board will host a special called meeting with the town manager of Tryon to discuss Tryon’s zoning ordinances so Saluda leaders might learn from their neighbors, Bright said.
He said he believes Tryon has dealt well with a lot of issues similar to ones coming up in Saluda so there is no point in reinventing the wheel.
Bright said the board also plans to  look at how to approach the use of an overlay district on Ozone Drive.

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