The Dunwoody City Council voted unanimously Jan. 23 to deny a resident’s request to open a home physical therapy business in his home in the Dunwoody North neighborhood.
Rhett Roberson, who lives at 2346 Brookhurst Drive, asked the City Council to approve a special land use permit to allow him to open a home a physical therapy clinic in his basement.
Councilmember John Heneghan made the motion to deny because he said Roberson’s business is considered a medical facility according to city code and is prohibited from being located in residential neighborhoods. Heneghan said allowing a business to be located in a residential neighborhood was inconsistent with the city’s comprehensive plan and should not be located in a suburban setting.
“This SLUP is inconsistent with the policies of our land use plan and I will not vote to approve,” Heneghan said in prepared lengthy statement (attached below).
Roberson’s business is considered a Type B business under city code, meaning customers are allowed to travel and visit his home for services. There are numerous Type A home businesses in residential neighborhoods which allow for only one staff member and no visitors to homes.
Numerous residents spoke before the vote, all in opposition to Roberson’s request. One neighbor claimed that if the council approved the SLUP request, other therapy businesses would likely follow suit, including possibly “sex therapists or psychiatrists treating sex offenders or even veterans with PTSD.” Another person said allowing this business could lead to a tattoo artist opening in the neighborhood.
Other neighbors said allowing a home business that allows customers to visit a home would increase traffic, bring people from outside the neighborhood into their quiet community and would disrupt the quiet suburban lifestyle they desire.
Roberson, who holds a full-time job at the Sports Rehabilitation Center with offices in Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Buckhead/Brookhaven, told the council he wanted to open his own business to serve clients better and with the hopes of saving money to open a brick-and-mortar shop in Dunwoody in the future.
Read Heneghan’s complete statement: