Ringgold businessman can continue home business, neighbors mad - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Ringgold businessman can continue home business, neighbors unhappy

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RINGGOLD, GA (WRCB) -- A two year battle between Catoosa County, a businessman and his upset neighbors has finally come to an end. A judge has ruled in the case over whether a Ringgold man's tree service, that's run out of his house, is a nuisance and goes against zoning ordinances.

A superior court judge made the final decision this week saying Craig Burchfield can continue operating ASAP Tree Service in his yard even though it's in a residential zone. As you could guess, not everyone is happy with the outcome.

For the last two years, people living along Dietz Road have complained to the county on Craig Burchfield's business ASAP Tree Service saying it's loud and it shouldn't even be there.

"It's not zoned for that and that's the law," neighbor Jeffrey Hutchins told Channel 3 in a previous interview.

"I continue to get calls from zoning about problems. Sometimes it's noise. Sometimes it's starting work too early," ASAP Tree Service Owner Craig Burchfield told Channel 3 in a previous interview.

Several months ago zoning officials had him put up an eight foot fence to take business out of eye and ear shot, but neighbors say it wasn't enough.

"There's been a lot of noise, dust that kind of stuff, dump trucks, logging, chainsaws," neighbor Ryke Merrill said.

After getting constant complaints, Catoosa County took Burchfield to court for a judge determine if the tree service was a nuisance or "home occupation business."

The final decision this week. The business can stay open, but with some limitations like sawing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. only up to 10 hours a week and behind the privacy fence. No outdoor advertising except the truck and sign in the front yard. Also, Burchfield has to use the back entrance for heavy equipment or selling firewood to the public.

"If he does what they've asked him to do, I appreciate that. That's neighborly, but at the same time, why are we only stopping at the noise ordinance? Why aren't we going after it being a business," Merrill said.

Several neighbors Channel 3 talked to agree with Ryke Merrill, saying their biggest problem is the constant foot traffic.

"You start adding other guys in here that you don't know and I've got a 15 year old and a 10 year old. I get a little concerned," Merrill said.

Merrill put up a privacy fence, while another neighbor posted surveillance cameras.

Burchfield didn't want to go on camera, but says he's just glad for it to all be over with. He hasn't started back to work yet, even though the cease and desist order was lifted a few days ago.

Meanwhile, neighbors say they're disappointed with county, and don't think the saga is over.

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