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Zoning Board: Huntsville counselor cannot operate inside home

A Licensed Professional Counselor wants to open up a counseling office out of his home, but neighbors are strongly opposed.

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 10:11 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 11:10 PM

The Huntsville Zoning Board declined a homeowner's request for a variance that would allow him to professionally counsel patients out of his home that is along Alabama Street just off of Bob Wallace Avenue.

At Tuesday night's meeting several neighbors from the surrounding area strongly opposed the idea, but this issue might not be completely settled yet.

Daniel Crawford is the Licensed Professional Counselor who wants to make part of his house into an area where he can treat patients.

He wants to do it because its different than a typical office setting.

"I think it would help the patients that I want to work with: special needs children, veterans. I'm a veteran myself, so being inside the home I think would be a benefit in that. A more living environment type of situation," said Daniel Crawford.

Leslie Trippe is one of several neighbors who does not want crawford to start counseling people out of his home.

"It's nothing against Mr.Crawford. It's just that the traffic that would be in the neighborhood. We're already dealing with a lot of construction traffic, and it would add more," said Trippe.

Crawford said during the zoning board meeting that his goal would be to serve four patients a day, five days a week, for one hour each.

A major concern for Trippe and other neighbors is that by allowing this it would open up the door to more people in the area trying to open up businesses out of their homes.

"We're just trying to keep the neighborhood single family residence," said Trippe.

Crawford still has the possibility of getting his counseling office approved, but he said he wouldn't go forward with it without a majority of support from the surrounding community.

"It wouldn't be a good situation to provide counseling. I wouldn't expect my patients to come to a situation which they wouldn't want the support of the community," said Crawford.

The next step for Crawford would be to go to the city and get the designation of a customary home occupation.

That would allow him to treat his patients at home.

Lawyers and Accountants who have a home office where they see clients are other examples of a customary home occupation.

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