RVC to establish home-based business directory


Rocky View County (RVC) council has voted to establish a new home-based business directory, but the decision did not come without disagreement and debate. County staff sought council input on what such a directory should look like at the Jan.

Rocky View County (RVC) council has voted to establish a new home-based business directory, but the decision did not come without disagreement and debate.

County staff sought council input on what such a directory should look like at the Jan. 24 public meeting.

According to RVC staff, there are currently only 41 Home-based Businesses Type 1 (HBB1) that have registered with the municipality and 160 Home-based Businesses Type 2 (HBB2) which have registered – far fewer than actually exist in the county.

There are another six Special Function businesses and six Live-Work businesses registered. Staff proposed that council consider starting a voluntary home-based business directory from among this registered number first, and then encouragement businesses that are not currently registered for prose and to help the County gain some insight into what types of businesses might actually be out there.

HBB1 businesses currently only have to sign a use agreement with RVC, but HBB2 businesses are supposed to apply for a development permit.

Division 7 Coun. Al Schule said he had “mixed feelings” about such a directory because he felt it wasn’t right for the County to be promoting home-based businesses that do not pay additional commercial taxes to the County over store-front businesses that do.

“I am really having trouble supporting this; period,” Schule said. “I am going to give you a couple different examples. One is a hairdresser. We have a hairdresser on [Langdon’s] main street. She is compliant. She has a business license, etc. She pays extra (commercial) taxes. And now we are going to give (another hairdresser) living on another block (working) out of the house the same kind of advertisement .

“I have an issue with that, and that is going to be a real hard sell to me.”

Schule then made a motion to have staff cease working on any kind of home-based business directory.

But both Division 1 Coun. Kevin Hanson and Division 4 Coun. Samanntha Wright said they could not support Schule’s motion.

“As a hairdresser,” stated Wright, referring to Schule’s previous example, “you choose to work out of your house. You choose to operate a business within a business … But, for me, we have a Home-Based Business (designation) Type 2, Type 1. We (at RVC) allow these types of things to occur. So I don’t know how they don’t warrant any attention through a directory.”

Council then voted on Schule’s motion, and it was defeated 5-2, with only Division 5 Coun. Greg Boehlke and Schule in support.

Division 6 Coun. and Deputy Mayor Sunny Samra then put another two conjoined motions on the floor. The first was to direct staff to establish such a home-based business directory and the second was bring it back to Governance Committee no later than March 31.

Samra originally proposed the establishment of such a home-based business directory late last year, and said his reasons for doing so had not changed.

“It could be in use where compliance or enforcement are concerns,” he said. “Safety is a concern – we know what’s going on where, and we are not trying to find out what’s happening in that house or commercial building, for that matter , after an incident has been reported. That’s my thought on what’s the ultimate purpose … It is something we need to have. I strongly believe it helps in determining what is right or wrong, and what is allowed and not allowed. And it brings a sense of awareness among county residents.”

Samra’s motion to establish the home-based business directory passed by a vote of 5-2, with Schule and Boehlke the two opposed. Samra’s second motion, for staff to bring the final directory proposal back to Governance Committee no later than March 31, passed by a vote of 6-1, with only Boehlke opposed.

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