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Old 09-25-2008, 04:44 PM   #1
Kristian Voth
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Garage gyms as an Affiliate

We're in the process of trying to get an affiliate going in Sioux Falls, SD. I called the zoning office and city ordinace states no business can be run in a residential area. Has anyone run into this before? If so were you able to work around the issue?

Not many people know what Crossfit is here. We're trying to build a client base before we would rent a space. Especially since winter is only a month or so away. Thanks

Kris
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Kristian Voth View Post
We're in the process of trying to get an affiliate going in Sioux Falls, SD. I called the zoning office and city ordinace states no business can be run in a residential area. Has anyone run into this before? If so were you able to work around the issue?

Not many people know what Crossfit is here. We're trying to build a client base before we would rent a space. Especially since winter is only a month or so away. Thanks

Kris
Does the city know you or your business?

Look at it this way. It's your house. It's your garage. It's your driveway. If you want to have people over and train them, it's your property, not the city's.

That being said, I suggest to everyone on here to just go ahead with your plans, don't be disruptive to the neighbors, and 9 times out of 10 the city doesn't even care, even if a city employee "discovers" that you're doing the ultra-evil deed of pursuing profit on your own property.

From a strict perspective, you own the house, if you're not parking on the street, you're not using any public property. And if you're not doing something that affects others (making louder noises than would be expected in a residential neighborhood, burning things, leaving unsightly things in plain sight, etc), there is no reason the city should get involved in what you are doing on your property.

So, basically, I say go for it, most likely they won't even find out unless you register with them, tell them about it, etc. If there's city business taxes to pay, that's a different story, then you'd obviously have to register with them to pay that, but those are somewhat rare.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:54 AM   #3
Larry Cook
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

Kris,

I'm sure there are plenty of home based businesses in Sioux Falls. Is your garage attached or detached? Many times, zoning laws apply strictly to the "home" and explicitly not the "detached garage". It should be an easy thing to determine what the rules are ... my guess is the zoning laws are online.

If necessary, you could probably go through some appeals process, or, as Matt suggests, ask for forgiveness instead of permission.

Good luck
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Old 09-26-2008, 09:14 AM   #4
Camille Lore
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

Our state planning law allows "no-impact home based businesses" everywhere. No-impact means no visitors, no outside signs, etc. Some people feel very strongly about not having businesses in their residential area. The thing to remember, as Larry points out, is that there is always an appeals process. You may be able to apply for a variance and state your case as to how you will not be changing the residential character of the neighborhood.
If you are not charging money, I don't feel it would be a business.
As a zoning officer, I would not recommend that you simply ignore the rules and proceed. You may be risking a fine that will multiply each day an infraction occurs. Chances are that your neighbors or someone else will take offense to your business and report it. Then you're left to deal with the situation anyway.
My suggestion-read the zoning ordinance. If you need help deciphering it, I would be glad to help. If the ordinance prohibits a small business, ask what is involved in getting a variance.
Let me know if I can help.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #5
Henry Miller
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

You can count on a busybody in every neighborhood who like to stop people from doing whatever they want - and there is no reason to these folks, so stay legal.

Of course if you are not charging money it is just friends. You won't be making money this way either though.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:10 AM   #6
Derek Franks
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

It's worth double checking the city zoning ordinances yourself. Here, if I remember correctly the rule is that you can run a home based service business (massage, training etc) but you cannot have more than 1 client on the premises at a time.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:06 PM   #7
Karin Jonczak
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Derek Franks View Post
It's worth double checking the city zoning ordinances yourself. Here, if I remember correctly the rule is that you can run a home based service business (massage, training etc) but you cannot have more than 1 client on the premises at a time.
As if being limited to ONE client every stopped anyone... I guess that makes having a home based service doing the horizontal mambo legal....

OMG what a stupid law!!

(sorry, this has no bearing on the original question, I was just stuck by the idiocy of government though I am not sure why I am really that surprised...)
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Last edited by Karin Jonczak : 09-26-2008 at 03:06 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:34 PM   #8
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

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Originally Posted by Karin Kellerman View Post
As if being limited to ONE client every stopped anyone... I guess that makes having a home based service doing the horizontal mambo legal....

OMG what a stupid law!!

(sorry, this has no bearing on the original question, I was just stuck by the idiocy of government though I am not sure why I am really that surprised...)
Thank God someone who sees the light.

Unfortunately today we have a lot of "that's a great idea" laws that are meant to "protect us" from other people. When in reality, all they do is protect our conveniences at the expense of other people's rights.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:21 AM   #9
Camille Lore
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

How would you feel about a trucking operation being run out of your neighbor's house? Don't laugh, it's been done. Jake brakes, loud engines and lights all hours of day and night? If you don't like the laws, change them or who's in office.
There is always a right to appeal. Not as silly as you'd like to make it out to be.
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Old 09-27-2008, 07:44 AM   #10
Greg Keeter
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Re: Garage gyms as an Affiliate

I'm doing research now on starting a garage operation and while I do want to build into a larger operation, but I'm wary about upsetting my neighborhood. I have two small children and I like the idea of limitations on business near their home. Most of the rules on residential businesses I've seen are understandable and just the kind of things no one wants near their home like storage of chemicals and being overrun with cars.

Being limited to one client at a time does seem rather restrictive especially given the kind of camaraderie crossfit thrives on, but its just one more limitation the environment makes on me until I can create a better one.

Ultimately, I think if done right a garage affiliate won't be in a garage very long. Anyone that plans to spend months or years(!) in a garage as an affiliate might want to reconsider what they are up to.

My two cents . . .

Greg
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