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Hartselle Enquirer

Eight-year old zoning dispute back in front of city council

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
The desire to use an outbuilding for a business and a eight- year lapse has left a local man fighting to change how his property can be used.
Erby Suits of 809 Corsby Street is asking the city council for approval to use his outbuilding as an office for his heating and cooling service. City regulations prohibit using outbuildings as businesses unless it's in a business zone or a zoning variance is granted.
Suits property is located in a R-1, or residential, zone.
Suits asked the planning and zoning board for a zoning change in 1995, shortly after the building was built. Zoning signs were posted and the proposal was advertised in the Hartselle Enquirer.
However, at the time, Suits decided against taking the matter to the city council for its decision, opting to continue operating his business out of his home. Now, however, Suits said someone is interesting in purchasing the property and wants to use the outbuilding as a beauty shop.
According to city building department head Jeff Johnson, the property would have to be rezoned in order to ensure the use of the outbuilding as a business. A variance, he said, would only apply to that property owner and would not be transferrable.
The question lies on whether there is a time limit on zoning request. If there is, the request would have to be reposted and readvertised, esentially sending Suits back to square one. If not, the council could decide the matter based on the 1995 application.
Mayor Clif Knight said he will ask City Attorney Larry Madison to investigate any time limits on the applications.