Levy Court rejects home-based business

DOVER — Kent County Levy Court voted 7-0 to deny a request for a home-based business to continue to operate in a residential area during Tuesday night’s meeting.

Home-based Contractor Establishment, which is located in Felton, is currently zoned in the agricultural residential district.

The business requested a conditional use approval of the establishment during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The surrounding area of the establishment is residential, known as the South Glen subdivision. To the west is also a residential area, known as Pickwick Acres subdivision.

The business is located on the northeast side of Dickens Lane, within the South Glen development.

There are deed restrictions for the development — Section 5 states there shall be no commercial trucks or trailers housed on properties except when being loaded or unloaded. This restriction also prohibits the parking of vehicles on any grass or lawns of any given lot.

During the meeting, one resident complained that for several years the business has added more and more equipment, sheds and dumpsters on the property.

Neighbors also cited concerns of property maintenance, increase in traffic, speed of traffic and the safety of children in the development.

Commissioners agreed that the business has become a nuisance in the residential area.

“Anytime an applicant that is a homeowner wants to start a business inside a development, my position has always been not in favor of the applicant,” Commissioner Eric Buckson said.

“I do that for one specific reason, as I’m a big believer in property rights. When you own a home in a neighborhood and you sign the documents, which includes a deed with a restriction on it, I don’t expect for a government like myself to override that.”

Vice President Bradley Eaby agreed.

“These are difficult decisions to make,” Commissioner Eaby said. “On one hand you would like to applaud and help out a hard working individual, but on the other hand there is a deed of property rights.

“In viewing the situation, you have to respect the rights of the people. I would be concerned of businesses popping up in my development. I chose to live there for a reason.”

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