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Rules bent to allow Edgewood business to expand

Current bylaw says a maximum of two people can work in a home business
The Regional District of Central Kootenay board office in Nelson. File photo

An Edgewood business will be allowed to expand its operations, even though the number of new workers on the property will exceed existing zoning rules.

Helena and Roman Ondrysek were given approval for their variance application at the September 13 meeting of the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s Rural Affairs Committee (RAC) to allow them to have up to six employees working for them in their home.

The current bylaw says a maximum of two people can work in a home business in Edgewood.

The Ondrysek home on Kilarney Crescent is currently zoned Suburban Residential, and is similar to other one-family residences on the street. They operate Okanagan Ribbons Ltd. out of the basement, making coloured event and award ribbons by hand using sewing machines, hot glue guns and small-scale printing.

Business must be good, because the couple want to hire up to four more people to work for them. RAC members were told that staff didn’t think the expansion would affect neighbours’ enjoyment of their properties.

“Despite the seemingly significant expansion of allowable non-resident workers from two to six, the intensity of activity remains in the spirit of a home-based business,” staff noted in a report. “The `craft’ nature of the activity (handmade ribbons) is not anticipated to create significant noise, traffic, emissions or odours and the area proposed for the home-based business use within the residence remains relatively modest.”

A few local residents raised concerns about parking and traffic, but RDCK staff said they were satisfied the Ondryseks’ had addressed those issues. The couple will also have to meet health and safety and other business regulations for the expansion to ensure it is done safely and without detriment to other residents of the area.

Staff and directors also noted the benefit of providing more jobs in the economically challenged area.

The RAC decision was ratified by the full board the next day.

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