Interpretation and enforcement of part of the City of Laurie's zoning ordinance is in question in a case on Laurie Heights Drive.
A resident, Sue Martin, has filed a complaint that a business is being run from another residence — owned by Jeff Chorpening — in the neighborhood.
Attorney Andrew Renken addressed the board of aldermen on behalf of Chorpening, who has a lawn care business. At the meeting, Renken said Chorpening was not running his business from the residence, but had a right to store his equipment on his property.
The Laurie-based attorney also asked the board to clarify its enforcement procedures. Renken claimed that Ed Young, as the city's zoning inspector, issued a letter of enforcement to Chorpening after being directed to do so by a planning commissioner — despite reportedly visiting the site and not finding any violation of the code.
When asked about the issue, Young had no comment.
According to Martin, she initially approached Young about the issue with the idea that he would "just talk" to Chorpening about the situation, instead the letter was issued.
But either way, there is a violation occurring, she said.
As a close neighbor of Chorpening, Martin said she has kept track of all the “coming and going”, and that she is sure the business is being run from the residence.
She wants it stopped along with other neighborhood residents. Martin brought a sheaf of letters from other residents nearby to share with city officials.
"It's zoned R-1, and that's what it should be," she said.
Although Aldermen Val Ites initially said she would abstain from involvment on the issue due to her son's employment with Chorpening, she stepped in during the discussion to defend Chorpening.
According to Ites, Chorpening often has staff by the house not for business but for meals and socializing.
Martin, however, did not back down.
"There is no question he is running a business there,” she said, adding that equipment goes in and out of the property on a regular basis.
Chorpening was present at the meeting, but did not speak on the issue.
Ultimately, the board took the varying testimonies under advisement and tabled the issue for review of the situation by City Attorney Steve Grantham.