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Homebased Business Applicants Met with Mixed Council Response

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Niverville Council Crop
Back row: Councillors Kevin Stott, Nathan Dueck, and Chris Wiebe. Front row: Deputy Mayor John Funk and Mayor Myron Dyck. Brenda Sawatzky

Delegates representing two different conditional use permit applications made presentations to Niverville’s town council at their June 21 public meeting, pitching their homebased business ideas.

Council approved one and tabled the other pending further discussion on the unusual nature of the request.

Steven Baete of 209 St. Andrews Way is hoping to move his massage therapy business to his residence in Niverville. Due to soaring gas prices, Baete told council that he looks forward to reducing his work commute while offering Niverville residents new options for in-house and mobile massage.

Baete admitted to council that his homebased business was already in operation and he only recently became aware of the conditional use requirement upon joining the local Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Myron Dyck cited two reasons why conditional use permits are a requirement for homebased businesses. The first, he says, is to provide homeowners an opportunity to have concerns regarding businesses in their neighbourhood addressed.

Secondly, it gives council the chance to approve the permit on a trial basis before a permanent permit is issued. If approved for the first application, homebased business applicants are given a two-year period to do business from this location, after which time they must apply for a permanent permit.

This trial period allows for time to assess the viability of the business in the neighbourhood.

Council voted unanimously to approve Baete’s permit request.

A second conditional use application was considered for a tattoo shop at 67 South Park Drive. Applicant Brianna Marchand attended the meeting. Still working on her tattoo certification, Marchand seeks to begin business in the basement of a local home as soon as all her requirements are fulfilled.

“It’s going to be something different than the other tattoo studios in town,” Marchand told council. “I’d like it to be more like a spa, more relaxing and in a safe environment. Comfortable and homey.”

In Marchand’s case, though, the proposed location for her homebased business is not her own home. Instead she’d be renting the lower portion of a bilevel from another homeowner in order to run her business there.

This, council determined, was an unusual request that didn’t fit with the wording of the current bylaw governing homebased businesses.

Council agreed to table the discussion until, and if, a workaround could be found. They will address the application again at a future council meeting.

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