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Bal Harbour considers making entrepreneurs register their home businesses

Home-based business owners may have to register — and pay a fee — under a proposed Bal Harbour rule.

Special to The Miami Herald
Bal Harbour soon could require home-based businesses to pay a fee and register with the village.

The village council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposed ordinance requiring a home-based businesses to pay for a business receipt.

The council would vote on whether to give the ordinance preliminary approval. The issue would have to come before council members a second time for a final vote.

If approved, businesses with a residential Bal Harbour address outside of the commercial area would have to obtain a business tax receipt for a fee, which has yet to be determined.

The proposed ordinance would also establish clear rules for the operation of a home business, said Jay Smith, village director of community outreach.

The ordinance would prohibit business owners from meeting with clients in the home, ban no exterior signage, and forbid large-scale business operations he added.

Bal Harbour’s rules do not expressly address the issue of home-based businesses.

The new rule would legitimize businesses by requiring them to register with the village, said City Manager Alfred Treppeda.

“We would get a little revenue out of this,” said Treppeda at last month’s meeting. “And, they would be legal.”

Treppeda brought the issue before the council in response to several residents inquiring about the legality of home-based businesses.

Assistant Mayor Joni D. Blachar said the time is fitting.

“Times have changed. There are businesses that exist in people’s homes and they are presently in violation,” said Blachar at last month’s council meeting. “We are trying to remedy that so people are not in violation.”

At the May meeting, resident Babek Raheb questioned whether Councilwomen Patricia Cohen should vote on the issue, noting state records show Cohen lists her Bal Harbour home as the address for her landscape company, Garden Angel Landscape.

Council attorney Richard Weiss said there was no conflict.

In a phone interview, Cohen declined to comment on the question.

The council meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the village chambers, 655 96th St.

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