Planning board reviews 'home industry' zoning

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— The Routt County Planning Commission wants to make it easier for small industrial business owners to work out of their home.
"Almost every one of the county's small backhoe operators are violating the current zoning regulations," County Planner Jonathan Eastman told members of the planning commission Thursday night. Eastman told the commissioners that a new class of "use permit" should be provided to home-based businesses like excavators, woodworkers and other "trades."
Eastman said the county has had to order business owners to remove major equipment from their property when they receive complaints from neighbors bothered by noise or the sight of equipment.
"This is the first time I've heard that I couldn't keep my equipment here," said one Hayden-area backhoe operator, who said he was unaware of the current zoning regulations.
"Right now there are four or five people in the Hayden area they all have their stuff parked at their ranches," said another excavator who wanted to remain unnamed. Both did not realize they were violating any zoning rules and feared the county might act against them if identified. Both live on large parcels of land that make it less likely for neighbors to complain.
Planning commissioners appeared to support the recommendation of planning staff that these small businesses be given a chance to keep their operations at their homes.

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