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Oops! Mendon businesses need to be licensed

November 17th, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Brandon Fonda

MENDON – Many local business owners were present at the Planning and Zoning Board meeting Wednesday, after receiving letters from the  board saying that they were required to apply for a city business license.

The letters went out after the board received a complaint about noise that a home business was making, and then discovered that they had no records of any local business licenses.

“We pretty much just messed up,” said Burnis Skinner, chairman of the board.

Around 15 business owners showed up at the meeting so that they could argue their case, if need be, about what level of business license they would need to apply for.

“This is only the first wave of people we sent the letter to,” Skinner said. “We will take care of the rest in later meetings so that we don’t have too many people applying at once.”

Skinner explained that there are two types of business licenses for Mendon. Briefly stated, a level one means that the business is run completely out of the home and requires no visible storage area or extra obnoxious traffic at the home. These were businesses like house cleaning, salons or small day cares. A level two means that the business requires a separate building to either store or run the business out of, for example contractors and auto shops. A level one license costs $25 and a level two costs $35 but is also given a conditional use permit, which is a set of conditions that the city decides in order for that business to run.

“This is to protect both businesses and residents,” Skinner said. “It protects businesses, so that people won’t complain, and the people, so that businesses won’t be causing racket at four in the morning.”

Only one of the businesses questioned which level it qualified for but was settled with ease. “I really don’t care,” said Steve Sorenson, a cement contractor whose business was in question. “It’s only $10 and I’m quitting in May.”

In other business, the board discussed a way to limit the amount of calls they were getting about people wanting to claim one of the 15 new building permits that the City Council approved last month.

“I had individuals call and say they wanted their name on the list because they might build this year,” Skinner said. “I told them that’s not how it works.”

The board came up with an application that potential builders would need to fill out before they were eligible for a permit. This requires each potential builder to have a building plan, plot map showing the property and surrounding properties, warranty deed, proof of secondary water capability and a copy of a paid building permit.


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