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TMCNet:  Houston commissioners amend code related to brokering Internet sales [The Macon Telegraph :: ]

[April 01, 2014]

Houston commissioners amend code related to brokering Internet sales [The Macon Telegraph :: ]

(Macon Telegraph (GA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) April 01--PERRY -- Shawn Smith, a 47-year-old aircraft mechanic at Robins Air Force Base, may have his home business serving as middle man for after-market Jeep products after all.

Houston County commissioners approved Tuesday an amendment to the comprehensive land development regulations that define a broker and allow operation of business from a home through the Internet. However, it prohibits conducting any business on site.


Smith, whose business would take orders online and then have the products shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer, was discouraged in February when his home business license wasn't approved. He never expected anyone to have a problem with the business he'd worked months to start.

His situation led to a review of the regulations.

Although still a bit discouraged with having to wait a little longer, Smith said he understands government red tape and has been impressed with the leadership demonstrated by Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker and the other commissioners.

"It gives me more faith in the system that they would change the ordinance due to my case -- instead of the next person having to fight through the same thing," Smith said.

The amendment went into effect immediately upon approval, said Tim Andrews, the county's zoning and building administrator.

Because the amendment changes the regulations, Smith will have to reapply and go through the application process again, Andrews said.

Smith said he planned to work on that Tuesday afternoon.

The former regulations prohibited home sales unless the items were made or modified in the home and were written before the explosion of the Internet. The intent was to keep people from operating a retail business from their home.

Smith said he plans to use the extra income to help put his two children through college rather than take a second job.

In other business, commissioners approved a host of special exemptions for other home businesses from a carpet cleaning service to a yard and home restoration venture to a mobile drug and alcohol testing business.

Also approved was a zoning exemption for a telecommunication tower sought by Providence Real Estate Consulting on the behalf of AT&T for wireless use. The tower is expected to be built on 148 acres in proximity to the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter. A high-volume usage is experience with GNF&A events, Andrews said.

Commissioners also gave the thumbs up to rezoning 9.35 acres from residential-agriculture to manufacturing to Renfroe Construction on the behalf of Frito-Lay for a small expansion of a warehouse-type facility in the northeast corner of Ga. 246 and Oak Woods Drive in Kathleen. It would be located next to the existing plant.

Craig Hoffman, plant engineer, said non-essential machines would be moved from the main plant to the warehouse to free up space for future production lines of the kettle chip. That type of chip is not now produced at the Kathleen plant, which employs about 1,600 people and is the largest Frito-Lay facility, Hoffman said.

Shady Grove Baptist Church also received a special exemption to use its current facilities for a private school from kindergarten through the fifth grade.

Also, the date was set for the county's annual surplus auction was set for 10 a.m. May 15. Purchasing Agent Mark Baker said most of what's up for sale are used vehicles and computers. For more information about the auction, call 218-4800.

Telegraph archives were used in this article. To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

___ (c)2014 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.) Visit The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.) at www.macon.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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