Algood’s Board of Zoning Appeals has granted a special exception to allow a business to operate out of residence.
Algood’s Planning Director Tommy Lee said a local mental health provider approached the town and her neighbors about the exception. Dr. Annette Gallardo is a mental health counselor previously working out of an office in Cookeville. Lee said Gallardo worked out of her home because of the COVID-19 pandemic and found she could save resources by permanently working from home.
The board voted unanimously to approve the Customary Home Occupation exception in the R-1 Low Density Housing Zone.
“They approved the special exception,” Lee said. “And due to the fact that, basically that Gallardos went around to many of their adjoining property owners. They even went outside that scope. They went above and beyond and got signatures from several citizens.”
Lee said under that exception, the business can’t occupy more than half of the residence.
“That’s in place as a protection for the other property owners,” Lee said. “There’s two main things you want to try keep down in the R-1 District. One is traffic. You wouldn’t want a business that’s going to generate a high volume of traffic. Two, you want to eliminate businesses that would be potentially considered unharmonious. For example, you wouldn’t want a machine shop or a slaughter house or something of that ilk in an R-1 neighborhood. It would need to be something that benefits the neighborhood.”
Lee said he could imagine more small businesses taking the same route Gallardo did in Algood. He said talking to neighbors is a great idea, but even then there are no guarantees when it comes to getting an exception.
“Anytime that you ask for a variance or an exception into the zoning ordinance,” Lee said. If you get everyone to agree, there’s still the chance that the Board of Zoning Appeals could turn it down. But it certainly goes a long way in helping your case. It can only enhance your case for a variance or special exception.”