By Liz Wood 

Cease and desist request dominates meeting


Liz Wood

Planning commission board member Rod Weinman, left, discusses his views and the complications of operating a business under the current zoning ordinances. Steve Wilcoxson, far right, presented a complaint to the board of a home business being operated in an RD6000 area. The ordinance requires a conditional use permit to operate a home business that is not allowed under the current zoning laws.

Discussion became animated at the March 11 Planning Commission meeting when Chairman Rory Grubb threatened board member and town of Saratoga Councilman Steve Wilcoxson to remove from the meeting by the police department if he did not come to order.

Wilcoxson was insisting that the planning commission follow the letter of the law in the current ordinance about home-owned business.

Grubb said that Wilcoxson was not comparing "apples to apples" in his argument, and that in light of a new ordinance that has been approved by the planning council and is waiting for attorney approval, that the planning commission should wait.

Complaint about

home business

Wilcoxson presented a complaint about a business that was being operated out of a home that is RD6000.

The item was added to the agenda as an addendum by Wilcoxson at the meeting.

Wilcoxson told the planning commission that if the commission was going to impose a cease and desist order on Royce Kelley's property, then the same should be done to 110 S. E. River St.

The property at 110 S.E. River St. is listed as the address for four businesses, including two non-profit organizations.

The motion to issue a cease and desist order did not garner a second and did not pass.

According to Rosalie Gonzales, with the Wyoming Secretary of State's office, the address of the registered agent is required to be on the LLC (Limited Liability Corporation). Gonzales said that does not mean the business is being operated from that address.

Shannon said that he does use the home for bookkeeping purposes, and that concerts are held at the lot next door four times per year, but the concerts are covered under a special use permit. Wilcoxson said chairs were being stored at 110 S.E. River.

Cindy Bloomquist, Chris Shannon's partner, said the chairs are the property of the American Legion, which asked her to store the chairs to protect them from inclement weather.

Deb Clark, with the American Legion, said that Bloomquist offered to store the tables and chairs, since they were using them for the concerts. Clark said she has never asked that the tables and chairs be stored at the 110 S.E. River St. property.

Bloomquist said she does use chairs for the concerts held in the yard next to 110 S.E. River St.

The planning commission members discussed if they send a letter to Shannon and Bloomquist, they would have to send a letter to every person that is operating a home-owned business in Saratoga, which would include businesses like lawn-mowing and home offices.

Wilcoxson argued that since Shannon was given a cease and desist order at his property on 2nd Street, the same rule should apply for the property on S.E. River. Shannon said that he was using that building for his construction business and it was not the same at 110 S.E. River St.

Shannon said he has since moved his construction business out of the town limits.

Second Street history

In Sept. 2005, a cease and desist order was issued to Shannon's and Bloomquists's Prancing Antelope Construction, according to an article in the Sept. 28, 2005 edition of the Saratoga Sun. The article said that "Shannon obtained a permit to conduct a construction business from his home, but following complaints from neighbors that the property was not being used as stated in the permit, Bartlett made an investigation." Bartlett reported that Shannon was running a construction company out of a steel building and was also storing heavy equipment on the lots.

Shannon told the planning commission, of which he is a member, that there is no heavy equipment at the property on 110 S.E. River St. Wilcoxson said that since Kelley was given a cease and desist order, that "in all fairness", Shannon should receive one too.

Planning chairman Rory Grubb, said that he does believe in treating everyone fairly, but he did not believe that there was a comparison between Shannon's and Kelley's businesses.

Cease and Desist

against Kelley

Kelley argues that he is not operating a business from his property, but that he is building a house and has building permits allowing him to do so.

The planning commission voted to issue a cease and desist order be sent to Kelley in November and that he was to be imposed a fine of $100 per day if he did not cease his operation of a sawmill.

In the Nov. 20 edition of the Saratoga Sun, Kelley said that he believes he is within the law. Kelley told the Sun that he is using the sawmill to construct three structures on property he owns, and that he has permits for all three building projects.

Wednesday, Kelley said that he received the cease and desist order three weeks ago, but the planning commission has no proof of illegal activities.

Planning board member Greg Cooksey said the issue of operating a home business is an issue that the planning commission has been struggling with for a while. An amendment allowing home occupations in ordinance 18.06.190 has been drafted, which says that there cannot be any indication of a business from the outside of the home.

Cooksey said that if Shannon had lumber, backhoes or other construction equipment at the residence at 110 S.E. River St, that would be a "whole different ball game".

The ordinance is still being reviewed by the town attorney.

The next planning commission meeting is at 5:30 p.m., April 8 at Saratoga Town Hall.


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