The Pasco County Planning Commission has granted a special exception request by Amber Thomas to allow a nail salon, as a home-based business, on the north side of Carr Road, about 280 feet east of Arms Drive, in Zephyrhills.
Thomas told the county planning board that she’s a nail artist and had been doing nails as a hobby — after she had to let her salon go in August.
But, she said she was seeking permission for a home-based business because she’d been cited by the county and was informed if she wanted to keep doing nails, she’d need to create a business.
Thomas told the planning board that she does nail artistry, which involves creating designs using various materials. It typically takes about 2 hours for an appointment, she said.
County planners recommended approval of her request.
Neighbors, however, objected.
They said a commercial operation would change the dynamics of their neighborhood.
They complained that people coming to Thomas’ home have parked on the street, and that has created hazards for people pulling out of their driveways.
They said neighborhood kids play in the area and ride their bikes there, so any additional traffic could pose safety concerns.
They also raised a concern about the potential for the business to set a precedent for others to set up shop in the neighborhood.
Thomas said there have been cars near her home, but not because of her nail salon clientele.
“I’ve hosted Pampered Chef Parties for friends. I do barbecues. I have Christmas parties. I had people over — my son just got married. I feel like whenever there is anybody at my home, they’re taking it as customers. Like I don’t have a right to have anybody at my house, period,” Thomas said.
She told planning commissioners that she’s willing to limit her nail clients to one at a time, and a maximum of three per day.
She also said she will keep her driveway free, so no one will have to park on the street.
She said she is not trying to disrupt the neighborhood, and she wishes her neighbors had come to talk with her.
“This probably could have been handled differently,” Thomas said.
Planning Commissioner Jaime Girardi noted: “The approval does restrict one customer at a time. People have parties,” he said, and they visitors, too.
“There are times when you do exceed what you can fit just in your driveway,” Girardi said.
“I tend to agree with the applicant that she sometimes is targeted as having customers there when in fact, they’re not customers at all,” he said.
Girardi called for approving the request, with a restriction on hours of operation, a maximum of three customers per day and no on-street parking.
The motion passed, with Planning Commission Chairman Charles Grey and Planning Commissioner Peter Hanzel voting no.
Published April 14, 2021