St. Clair’s aldermen told the city’s planning and zoning board it should come up with recommendations for allowing home occupation permits within a mobile home district.

During its most recent meeting, the city officials decided to return the matter to the local planners after a specific request came from a man to operate an Internet-based business out of his home within Crescent Village mobile home park off of Highway PP.

Charles Wilson first appeared before the St. Clair Planning and Zoning Board on April 9 to request he be allowed to operate an Internet-based gun sale business out of his home at 83 Quail Ridge Drive in St. Clair. Wilson said the sales would not come from his home but through the Internet. The guns would be delivered to his home, however, and he would deliver them to their buyers personally.

However, he said from what he understands, paperwork would need to be completed at his home.

Under current St. Clair zoning ordinances, mobile homes are not included as an area where home-based occupations are allowed.

“We can’t so anything for Mr. Wilson if we don’t have any regulations,” planning board Chairman Myrna Turner said during her meeting. “There is nothing in our regulations that state a home-based business is allowed in a mobile home.”

The planners tabled the issue until they received direction from the board of aldermen.

“The planning and zoning board entertains an amendment ... to allow home occupations within (mobile home) districts,” Turner stated in a memo to the board of aldermen that was discussed the following Monday, April 16. “Please advise (the board) to proceed with consideration for such an amendment or to terminate deliberation.”

Turner also said if told to continue, the issue will be discussed during her board’s May meeting with a recommendation forwarded to the aldermen for final approval after that.

During the aldermen meeting, City Attorney Kurt Voss said it needs to be decided whether a permitted use or conditional use permit will be tied to the regulations. He suggested a CUP because requirements then can be linked to it instead of a “straight up permit.”

“You can dictate hours, parking and that sort of thing (with a CUP),” Voss said, adding that allowing Wilson to operate his business out of his home is a two-step process.

“First, you have to amend your ordinance to allow a business in a mobile home,” he said. “Then, you have to decide whether it will be a permitted or conditional use.

“I would think you would want some control.”

City Administrator Rick Childers agreed.

“I think approving it as a conditional use makes the most sense,” he said.

Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate supported that line of thinking.

“I don’t have a problem with it if it’s on a conditional use basis,” he said.

Both Voss and Ward 1 Alderman Zach Fuchs cautioned Wilson to make sure that subdivision covenants allow for the home-based business.

“Make sure the owner is OK with it since trailer parks are privately owned,” Fuchs said.

“If city ordinance allows it but subdivision codes don’t, it doesn’t matter what we say,” Voss said.

After the discussion, the aldermen decided to tell the planners to proceed with making a recommendation to amend the ordinance.