City looking at traffic issue created by home-based businesses

The City of Red Deer may rethink an unofficial policy governing the traffic that home-based businesses can generate.

The City of Red Deer may rethink an unofficial policy governing the traffic that home-based businesses can generate.

The issue came up at the city’s municipal planning commission meeting on Wednesday, when approval was issued for a home-based hair salon in Archibald Crescent.

One of the conditions recommended by city staff was that the salon serve no more than 10 customers a week — a standard requirement for such applications.

Jim Marke, a citizen representative on the commission, questioned this restriction because it’s not stipulated in Red Deer’s land use bylaw. Other commission members agreed.

“It’s very arbitrary, in my mind,” said Coun. Cindy Jefferies, suggesting that a 10-customer limit could be too restrictive for some businesses.

City staff pointed out that the condition was one that the commission had consistently imposed in the past, and is now used when the Inspections and Licensing Department deals with applications for home-based businesses.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling expressed reservations about adding a customer limit to the land use bylaw, explaining that this would tie the commission’s hands when its dealing with specific applications.

Coun. Paul Harris suggested that the city’s policy concerning home-based businesses be reviewed, with consideration given to the purpose and value of such enterprises.

He recommended that ventures like home-based music lessons be included.

The commission agreed to refer the matter to city council for consideration.