Businessman appeals District decision

Wants temporary approval to operate from his residence

A small businessman is appealing a District of Houston decision that would stop him from operating at his residence.

But Chris Meints says he only wants permission to run his auto detailing business there until he can find a suitable location elsewhere.

His story begins last November when he started Chris Meints Auto Detailing from a shop at his parents’ place.

“But when COVID hit, I moved it to my garage,” said Meints.

He did understand District of Houston bylaws prohibiting having more than one home-based business at a residence but said that did not apply after his wife, also because of the pandemic, closed her nail and hair salon that she ran from their home.

“So I called the District and they said go ahead, that was fine. You just need to come down and sign the papers [to transfer your business address],” Meints said last week.

That took awhile to happen because the District had closed in-person service, also because of COVID-19.

“So when they re-opened I went down on a Monday and signed those papers but on the Thursday, I got a call saying I was not allowed to work [from my home],” said Meints.

Confused by what he thought was contradictory information from District officials, Meints then filed an appeal which went before the District council at its Aug. 18 meeting.

Councillors deferred any further action, asking staffers to come back with more information.

Meints says he does want to move his business from his residence once he finds a suitable location.

“I do SUVs, RVs and there’s really no room for that in my garage,” he said.

But finding another location could also be complicated.

One building he is interested in buying would need to be rezoned but without a firm sales deal, paying for a rezoning application would be risky, he said.

“For now, I’m still working from my garage,” said Meints as he awaits further communication from District officials.

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