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Mason County to rework zoning ordinance Home businesses ‘need work,’ get first look at Thursday night meeting

July 9, 2016 GMT

With a number of issues on the table, the Mason County Planning Commission will be reworking its zoning ordinance.

Discussions began at Thursday evening’s meeting.

“We’re just getting started with the process,” said the commission’s Mary Reilly. “We’re starting to tackle home businesses, because those items need work.”

Home businesses were one of the planning commission’s biggest priorities, Reilly said, with a number of issues in need of an update.

A draft of an updated home business ordinance was reviewed at the meeting, held at 102 W. Fifth St. in Scottville.

“Right now, the planning commission doesn’t have a mechanism to say how big is too big for home-based businesses,” Reilly said.

Under the current law, home businesses can’t occupy more than 50 percent of a dwelling. There are no regulations for outdoor use, like pole barns and outside storage, however.

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“We’re seeing business use dominate use of the property,” Reilly said. “We’re looking at, how do we set limits on this?

“We all want our local businesses to succeed, but is there some point when they need to move on to a commercial zone?”

These questions led discussion at the meeting. A new tier system was also a main point.

Right now, the classifications used are home business and home occupation. Those would be grouped under the new plan and classified instead by intensity.

The Mason County Planning Commission is seeking public opinion on its zoning ordinance at www.surveymonkey.com/r/MasonCountyZoning

The survey will be active through Aug. 31, 2016.

The results of the survey will be used by the planning commission in the coming months as it works on amendments to the Mason County Zoning Ordinance.

Read more about this story in the Saturday print and e-Editions of the Ludington Daily News.