NORTH OGDEN -- Tom Baguley will keep his auto repair business in the garage of his home, at least for now.
The city council voted unanimously Tuesday to deny the appeal by several residents who opposed the planning commission's renewal of Baguley's conditional-use permit.
Several residents spoke at the council meeting and took opposing sides of the issue. Baguley's supporters heckled, shouted, laughed and sang songs while the appellants presented their case.
City Attorney Jon Call had given explicit instructions to council members that they were now "judges" hearing the case.
Appellant Jolyon Walker expressed his frustration with the city's system, to the point of saying people called him a liar because his opinion was different from another's. Walker told the council he would be short-selling his home in July and leaving the neighborhood because of the way he had been treated by his neighbors.
Appellant Mark Pontius said Baguley's business didn't affect him personally, but he appealed on principal. Pontius feels the CUP goes against city code.
"The city can approve anything they want for someone if they are popular enough and can get enough supporters on their side," said Pontius, who worries about a precedent being set by the city for future property owners.
Pontius said he has been called vicious names and treated rudely by his mail carrier over the issue.
Pontius said he liked Baguley well enough, but that he (Pontius) wasn't from the predominant religion and didn't travel in the "popular" circles and so those neighbors would call him and the other appellants "liars" because they didn't agree with their opinions.
The main appellant, Charles Crippen, also expressed frustration with the way the CUP went against city codes and the nuisance ordinance for home-based businesses. He also compared his neighborhood to the "Twilight Zone," saying it has turned into a place where hateful things are said and written about one another.
As Crippen spoke, members of the audience laughed loudly, called names and hummed the "Twilight Zone" song. Others shouted for the appellants to leave or "go home."
On several occasions, the mayor requested the group to calm down.
Baguley went over each of the six conditions of his permit with Councilman Brent Taylor. Baguley said he hadn't asked any of his friends to stand up for him or treat anyone unkindly.
A few council members expressed frustration about the way the home-based business ordinance is written and how the planning commission put the CUP into affect for Baguley. However, the council also found that Baguley wasn't necessarily violating any of the conditions of the CUP.
Councilman Kent Bailey asked Baguley if he had considered moving his business out of the neighborhood. Baguley said he hadn't found a spot that he could afford. Councilman Wade Bigler said it wasn't the council's place to determine where residents have their businesses.
"It is the city's place to determine where businesses can and can't open up," Bailey responded.
Bigler agreed, but didn't think Baguley should be questioned about moving his business.
The council agreed it needs to revisit the ordinance in great detail, although it would be difficult to take away Baguley's CUP.
In an email to the Standard-Examiner on Wednesday, Pontius said the appellants have engaged the state of Utah in a review of the city's conduct on the matter. Pontius said this issue is not going away and it is bigger than many realize.