News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
TUESDAY, JUNE 27, 2006


Fences and ordinances make good neighbors

The neighborhood feud on Clearview Street Southwest raises a valid question not only about home-based businesses but people's lifestyles.

Buddy Patterson and Dean Tucker are in a dispute with another neighbor, Lyndon Stoudmire, not so much about running a business from his home but about parking his equipment there.

Mr. Stoudmire owns a landscaping company that his business license says has a Hillsboro address. But his neighbors say Mr. Stoudmire parks his landscaping truck and trailer in his yard or on the street and gives the appearance that his home is his headquarters.

That, they contend, means he's operating a home-based business. But the city says he's not in violation of any city ordinance.

That he is not in violation is of concern to many more city residents. It's not Mr. Stoudmire that concerns them, but their own neighbors.

The Board of Zoning Adjustments goes to great lengths to make sure there are no visible signs that approved home-based businesses give the appearance of a commercial establishment.

Yet, other people are free to clutter neighborhoods with trailers, heavy work trucks, motor homes and campers and allowed to carry on unsightly activity such as automobile repairs.

It's ironic that the two complaining neighbors once had their street in another uproar because they were independent milk-route salesmen and parked their trucks at home each night.

Mr. Stoudmire obviously complies with the law; however, city officials need to better address the broader issue. Poet Robert Frost's observation that good fences make good neighbors might need a little help.

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