Ordinance enforcement takes effort

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When Ed Telfair, president of the College Street Historic District Neighborhood Association, learned of Troy’s new zoning ordinance for home businesses, changes in the ordinance weren’t what troubled him.

“My concern is heretofore in the past there have been instances where people have started home businesses and did not follow the guidelines laid out by the city’s zoning code,” Telfair said. “The ordinance itself is good I just want it enforced.”

The new ordinance classifies home businesses based on the impact they have on their neighborhoods.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Telfair said he has nothing against home businesses, but has seen these businesses have a greater impact on neighborhoods than the ordinance allows. Some have advertised in a residential area. Others have more employees than they are licensed to have.

“Some of these places have got semis dropping things off,” Telfair said. “I want to ensure that the thing (new ordinance) gets enforced and not just be a bunch of paper which has no clout at all.”

Troy City Clerk Alton Starling said enforcement falls upon him and Junior Register, the city’s license inspector.

The city does not have people staffed for the sole purpose of enforcement and random checks of licensed businesses are not common.

“We don’t ride around looking for violations. We don’t have the manpower for us to get out to every house,” Starling said. “It has to be something that comes to our attention. It takes the residents and everyone to call in for us to find out.”

Starling encouraged residents to get involved and report any violations made. The city will follow up with any complaints it receives. Starling and Register will check the type of license the business has and that it is in compliance.

“We have to find the activity taking place first then go before the Board of Adjustment.

There are different ways to go about doing that and it’s very complicated,” Starling said.

Call 311 with any questions regarding home businesses and the new zoning ordinance.