After receiving no comments during a public hearing on the issue, the St. Clair Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously decided officially to recommend that home occupations be allowed to operate within mobile home districts as a conditional use.
The recommendation now will be forwarded to the city’s board of aldermen, which has final say on the matter.
The planners then decided, however, to deny the first specific request for such a business as Charles Wilson was told no to opening an Internet-based guns and ammunition sales business at his home in Crescent Village Mobile Home Park.
Board members originally supported the general mobile home occupancy plan in May, but a public hearing on the matter was needed before the formal recommendation could be made to the aldermen, city Building Inspector Jeremy Crowe said.
“It is required by ordinance to hold a public hearing by both the planning and zoning commission and the board of aldermen prior to a zoning change,” Crowe told The Missourian. “If no objections are heard from the public regarding the amendment, then all the board has to do is approve sending the prepared recommendation to the aldermen.”
That’s exactly what happened during the planners’ meeting on Monday, June 11.
Currently, the city has no laws regarding home occupations within mobile home districts.
“Right now, we have nothing,” board Chairman Myrna Turner reminded her fellow planners during the June 11 meeting.
During earlier discussions, the board looked at making home occupations within mobile home districts either a permitted or conditional use. It was decided that issuing a conditional use permit would be the way to go so the city can maintain some control through included conditions.
“I believe every mobile home (business) should be a conditional use permit so we maintain some kind of control over it,” board member Doug Komo said.
“I think that option should be there, but on a case-by-case basis,” added Travis Dierker, who also is a Ward 2 alderman.
Turner has reminded the board that city attorney Kurt Voss also thought the CUP route would be better than a permitted use because of being able to retain that kind of control through the conditions of the permit.
With a CUP, each request to the board would be handled separately.
As its next order of business, the planning board denied recommending a home occupation permit to Wilson to open and operate the guns and ammunition business in Crescent Village.
Wilson previously had appeared before the planners to discuss his intentions, and board members had spent time during previous meetings discussing the matter. In May, his request was tabled.
Wilson has said his business would be Internet sales only and that he would deliver the guns and/or ammunition to the buyer. That buyer would have to come to his home on Quail Ridge Drive to fill out paperwork.
Concerns centered on Wilson storing the guns and ammunition in his home over any length of time and the repercussions of that if there were a burglary or fire.
Last month, the planners said they would like to gather more information and have discussions with police and fire personnel about any concerns they may have. They also wanted to get the mobile home park owner’s opinion.
On Monday, Komo said he had talked to both local fire and police personnel about the potential business.
“The fire department gave me some information from the International Fire Code,” he said.
He then read Section 3301.2 of that code, which deals with storing explosives.
“No person shall keep or store nor shall any permit be issued to keep or store any explosives at any place of habitation or within 100 feet thereof,” Komo read.
He then said, “I don’t think we should grant this.”
Board members agreed.
“That’s pretty much black and white,” Dierker said.
Turner then made sure of the board’s intent by asking if the board was leaning toward a “no” vote even though a CUP could be issued to maintain control.
“I am against it,” Komo said.
The motion then was made to deny the request. It unanimously passed with Euvalda Young abstaining.