A city permit that would have allowed a Morrell Park resident to operate a skin-care business in her home has been revoked.
City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.) said Tuesday the city’s Department of Licenses and Inspection notified residents it had revoked the permit earlier this month. Joseph Beller, who represents Maureen McKeown, said his client is likely to continue trying to get the city’s OK to operate her business in her home on the 3300 block of Morrell Avenue.
McKeown’s property is residentially zoned. Beller said his client just wants to give facials in a small part of her home for three years and then will move her business to a commercial location. O’Neill and many of McKeown’s neighbors opposed McKeown’s plans. Not only did a handful of neighbors show up at two Zoning Board of Adjustment sessions to testify to their opposition, O’Neill also let the zoners know he didn’t like McKeown’s proposal and even hired a lawyer to argue against it.
The story isn’t a long one, but it has had an up-and-down history.
On Jan. 21, the zoning board unanimously shot down McKeown’s application for a variance that would have allowed the business. Opponents who had come out to the meeting went home happy.
The next month, Beller agreed to represent McKeown and persuaded the zoners to reconsider the case.
O’Neill and even more opponents showed up at the zoning board’s April 2 session, but Beller asked for, and got, a continuance. Opponents went home grumbling.
Beller then got his client a permit for a “home occupation,” scratching the need for any further zoning board hearings.
O’Neill then complained to the Planning Commission, arguing that whoever in L&I had issued the permit didn’t understand the zoning code. The councilman said he believes L&I took a second look and then put the kibosh on the earlier OK.
“L&I is now looking at this correctly,” he said. “It has a better understanding of why this is not permitted. … This use doesn’t belong there.”
O’Neill said what Beller has described last month as “basically facials” is not a home occupation permitted under the city’s zoning code.
“It’s clearly prohibited,” he said. The councilman said the whole issue had been decided correctly the first time — on Jan. 21.
Beller said the permit was not a mistake and was granted properly.
“I’m not happy,” Beller said Tuesday morning. “I don’t think they’re right. … We’re going to appeal one way or another.”
He said he didn’t see how his client’s small, by-appointment business could have an adverse impact on anyone. ••