Businessman upset that council won’t let him operate from his residence

Businessman upset that council won’t let him operate from his residence

Chris Meints was seeking temporary approval

A Houston businessman is frustrated and upset the Houston council has denied his appeal to operate his auto detailing business temporarily from his residence.

Chris Meints says he understands zoning and other regulatory measures prohibit his operating from his R1-zoned residence but that all he wants is time to find a suitable occasion.

He’s got his eye on a building that’s for sale but adds it would require renovations to fit his business needs.

“So it comes down to whether [the owner] is willing to bend on the price, so that may or may not be a possibility,” said Meints last week.

He’s has another option, that being to buy a piece of property on which to build, but adds that hiring an architect to design a suitable structure and then constructing it would take months.

“So here we have a council that can approve a cannabis store in the mall and a women’s transition shelter downtown but they can’t do anything for someone who’s lived here for 40 years,” Meints said.

“They talk about wanting to have the town prosper but they’re just not willing to help the little guy.”

As of last week, Meints said he got an email from the District of Houston informing him council turned down his appeal but that he hasn’t been given a deadline to close down.

“So here I am in my garage right now,” he said during the course of an interview with The Houston Today. “I’m waiting for them to come to my house.”

Meints does have the chance to move back to his parents’ residence where he first started his business last November.

When the COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, Meints then moved to his residence. His wife operated a hair salon from their residence but closed it because of the pandemic and since municipal regulations permit having just one home-based business at a residence, Meints first thought he was in the clear.

“I’ve had nothing but support from people,” said Meints of reaction to his situation.

“I even had a [municipal] councillor, a friend, stop buy several times but he said his hands are tied.”