Business future uncertain after license appeal fails

Thursday, March 21, 2013 7:56 PM
Last updated 9:37 PM
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A business operating for nearly seven years in Evans likely will have to shut down after its license was not renewed.

The Columbia County Planning Commission on Thursday rejected the appeal from Scott Aldritch, of Old School Tool Repair at 4567 Cox Road, who had been turned down for an occupational tax placard – sometimes referred to as a business license.

Aldritch’s building was used until 2006 by a cabinet-making facility, and after that business moved out he continued to operate a cleaning service and a vacuum-cleaner repair shop, he told planning commissioners.

The business continued to evolve into one that now repairs tools and small-engine equipment, and he wanted to pass it to his stepson, Matt McFarland, to operate.

County planning officials, however, rejected the renewal because the business across from Evans High School doesn’t conform to its professional zoning.

“I guess it’s been out of compliance since the building was built” in 1961, Aldritch said.

Planning board members turned down the appeal, and said Aldritch’s only alternative is to move the business or to bring the building into compliance with neighboring professional parcels and then apply for a special zoning to allow it to continue to operate.

But they made it clear such an effort would be expensive, with no guarantee that a rezoning would then be approved.

Aldritch said he’s unsure of what he’ll do. “I guess we’ll punt,” he said. “This is a fledgling business.”

“This is what we were living off of,” McFarland said.

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americafirst 03/21/13 - 09:32 pm
Your gov't at work and

Your gov't at work and another family business down the tubes.

David Parker
David Parker 03/22/13 - 08:27 am
As long as they are levelling

As long as they are levelling the playing field across the board, then it's fair. My guess is there are other businesses running operations out of code like this one but they are walking a thin line of "grandfathering". Note to self: Just continue doing business as usual and run new operations out the back door.

itsanotherday1 03/22/13 - 02:56 pm
This is a shame. The man has

This is a shame. The man has a good rep for being reasonable and timely with repairs. I guess now he has to spend a gazillion dollars and charge big shop prices.

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