Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 8, 2014

Ordinance hits home business

MT. VERNON — Under existing city ordinances, home-based businesses are not legal, which was presented Monday to the council.

"The way the ordinance is written, Mary Kaye, Tupperware, Avon and other home-based sales are not allowed," said resident Cody Richardson. "You can't even make a bracelet to sell at the Cedarhurst Craft Fair and not be in violation of the current city ordinance."

Richardson, whose home-based business is to make ammunition, said he moved from Bluford into the city to be closer to his other work and Rend Lake College.

"I have a Type 6 Federal Firearm License to make ammunition, and I can't make ammunition in my home now," Richardson said. "I have to do it in my former home out in Bluford. ... The way the ordinance reads, I can't even use an accessory building, like a garage."

Richardson provided the three members of the council who attended Monday's meeting with copies of the existing ordinance and a list of proposed changes to make the ordinance more workable for home-based occupations.

"I've run into this before with home-based business, especially crafts," City Councilman Todd Piper admitted, adding that he has been looking into ordinances and building codes for the city.

Councilman David Wood, who was acting as Mayor Pro Tem, urged Richardson to contact City Manager Ron Neibert in a couple of weeks.

"Call the office in a week or two, see what progress has been made," Wood said. "It's always a good thing to follow up on things like this."

Neibert said he would be looking at the ordinance and presenting information to the council at another meeting. In addition, it was announced a workshop session will be held in August to discuss leaf burning again.

The short-handed council did take on one order of business — the re-appointment of Bill Beck to the Fire and Police Commission.

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