Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Atlanta listed as 5th worst commute time in nation and ranks 9th in people working from home.

The City of Dunwoody is in the midst of rewriting our Zoning Code Regulations and one of the issues that we will need to face head on in the coming months is reviewing the "home occupation" regulations.  We may want to make it easier to allow people to work legally from their home as long as it is done in such away as to not denigrate the feel of our single family neighborhoods.  How can these regulations be softened to match the real world that many of my neighbors are facing today or is this like the proverbial "Chicken" issue where it is better to believe that it is not happening at all?  If addressed, this home occupation change would also need to look at the issues of noise, hours, signage, business types and the possible full time conversion of single family residences (rental homes looking for a tenant?) into business locations where businesses were never intended.

The article "A Look at Commuting Using the Latest Census Data" on the Newgeography.com website quoted the stats below.  I believe that by not accepting the reality that our Atlanta commute times will be getting longer over time as the metropolitan area grows, while also experiencing technological leaps in internet service to allow office work to be effectively done at the home; is like sticking our heads in the sand while forcing those who work from the home to wear a "Scarlet Letter" of being illegal because a customer may stop by to chat from time to time. 

 I don't have all the answers but this is a community issue being worked on by the community at large where everyone is invited to participate in the rewrite of the zoning ordinance.  The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday October 2nd and the meeting will most likely be discussing the 2nd module of the rewrite which is directed at the Administration and Procedures to be followed.  If you are interested in working on the rewrite by looking at the broad ordinance or have a single focused change in mind, I hope you come on October 2nd and make your wishes known. Thanks.

Working from Home
 
Rank
Metro Area
2011
1
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
62,593 (7.1%)
2
Raleigh-Cary, NC
37,030 (6.6%)
3
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
67,223 (6.4%)
4
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
131,029 (6.4%)
5
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA
89,547 (6.3%)
6
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO
76,025 (5.9%)
7
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
105,570 (5.8%)
8
Sacramento–Arden-Arcade–Roseville, CA
52,143 (5.8%)
9
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
132,979 (5.5%)
10
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
87,839 (5.2%)

Commute Times

Rank
Metro Area
2011
1
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA
34.9
2
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
34.5
3
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
31.0
4
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL-IN-WI
30.9
5
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
30.6
6
Baltimore-Towson, MD
30.3
7
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH
29.2
8
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA
29.2
9
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA
28.6
10
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD
28.5

3 comments:

SDOC Publishing Internet Solutions said...

John--
Thanks for the link and for the public nod to home-based owners and employees.

The consultants on the project as well as the sounding board members have spent **hours** going over home business regulatory issues to ensure that business owners have realistic expectations and the activities don't spill over into the neighborhood beyond what is "normal" activity. The first draft is in Module 1, 27-11.30. We're still fielding recommendations and edits. In addition, Module 2 clearly states that variances to this ordinance are not permitted.

Have you read what has already been created on this topic? Have you seen the amount of detail that has gone into "protecting the neighborhoods" as Denny Shortal (who clearly did NOT read the draft) demanded? If so, what are your opinions on the progress?

Max said...

People that 'work from home' are not always the same as home based businesses.

Writers, REALTORS, programmers, inbound call takers, web engineers, etc., all work from home and who would ever know it?

Home based businesses that change the use of a residential property, require home modifications to operate, may have cash register-type sales, etc. are less transparent and have the potential for creating a nuisance.

These are two separate issues and should not be confused with each other in either public opinion or zoning regs.



DunwoodyTalk said...

Ditto what Max said