Henderson zoning change will include petitioner

Jul. 23, 2013 @ 06:45 PM

Mental health counseling is now one of the allowed home occupations in Henderson, and city leaders plan to apply the change to the home property of the mental health counselor who requested it.

The Henderson City Council on Monday endorsed the recommendation by the city’s planning board to allow the counseling occupation in the eight named neighborhood zone classifications where a list of other home occupations are already allowed.

Council members also wanted to help Frances Finamore, who originally requested the ordinance change, to be included in that allowance. The solution they agreed would be best is for her R15 residential zoned property to be switched to another residential zone classification.

The R15 designation means moderate to low-density residential, and R6 is high-density residential.

Zoning Administrator Sherry Moss said there would be no further cost to Finamore for the zoning change work that includes obtaining a recommendation from the city planning board next month.

“That goes before the planning board the first Monday in August,” Moss said. “It is a staff recommendation, so she won’t have to pay anything more.”

Finamore’s home occupation idea would convert part of her home on Parham Street into a place where she could conduct counseling services for clients. Finamore said she believes her counseling help would mainly involve disabled veterans.

Finamore said she doesn’t mind the further delay too much, as she came from a faster paced New York to the Henderson area by choice so she could enjoy a more relaxed work pace anyway. Still, she won’t be satisfied until all the hurdles are cleared and she can start her work.

“It is only going to be a happy ending if I’m going to be able to provide services,” Finamore said, adding she believe she can provide a higher quality of service in her household setting.

The planner board last month said they dismissed the idea of adding Finamore’s R15 zoned neighborhood to the list of eight named neighborhood zone classifications where the mental health counseling could take place.

The eight includes five residential neighborhood types, including R6, that Moss said Finamore’s Parham Road property could be switched to along with a next door property that she believes should be R6 to begin with, joining those properties to the rest of an R6 zoned area nearby.

Mental health counseling is added to hairdressing, barber, dress making, clothing alterations, engineer, architect and surveyor occupations to the eight zone classifications where home occupations are allowed.

In other business, the council will also accepted an appropriation of $29,678 to cover repairs of a shelter damaged by fire at the police training center on Oxford Road in March. The appropriation is covered by an insurance claim.

Marcus Barrow, Henderson’s interim police chief, said an investigation into the fire’s cause yielded no suspects or charges, but “we believe this was caused by a four-wheeler that was trespassing on the property,” he said.

City manager Ray Griffin said gains on protecting municipal tax revenues that are part of pending budget and tax reform legislation in Raleigh won’t yield a lot of extra funding for the city, but the impact is significant on saving from revenue losses that have been taking place in recent years.

“The final bill’s outcome appears to have eliminated the loss of revenues,” Griffin said. “It appears the city will gain $32,210 compared to losing $253,534. While the gains are not that great, what is great is the fact that the city will not suffer draconian losses of revenues. We will not get a sock between the eyes, so to speak, and that’s pretty good news.”

Griffin thanked council members who were able to get in touch with legislators as part of a statewide effort by municipal leaders to impact the budget and tax reform process in Raleigh this year.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.