Helena Council denies Sno Cone stand request

Published 9:11 pm Monday, June 28, 2010

Helena residents will not see a mobile Sno Cone stand this summer after the City Council determined the stand would be in violation of the city’s zoning codes.

The council voted unanimously to deny the request by the stand’s owner, Joann Morgan, during its June 28 meeting.

Morgan told the council she planned to place her mobile Sno Cone stand in front of the BP gas station at the corner of Shelby County 17 and 58, but council members said Helena’s ordinances do not allow mobile businesses in the city.

“Our zoning code doesn’t allow temporary businesses unless it is a trailer at a site that is still under construction,” said Place 1 Councilwoman Leigh Hulsey. “It sets a precedent. If you allow it once, you have got to allow it for everyone.

“I would hate to see a lot of mobile businesses popping up on grassy developments,” Hulsey added. “I don’t think that’s what Helena needs.”

Council members asked Morgan to operate the Sno Cone business inside of the BP convenience store, but Morgan said the move would not draw enough business.

“We have actually already tried that. The sales just aren’t there,” Morgan said. “There is a whole experience to walking up to the trailer and ordering a Sno Cone.”

While council members said they sympathized with the business owner, they said they must enforce the city’s zoning codes.

“We need to stick to our code of the way things should look,” said Place 3 Councilwoman Cris Nelson.

In other business, the council:

Approved a home occupation for Eric and Melissa Smith at 1429 Secretariat Drive. The Smiths will operate the Smith Family Resources from the residence.

Approved a home occupation for Nick Weeks at 1407 E. Whirlaway Drive, where Weeks will operate Snaplife Studios.

Approved a home occupation license for Lauren Armstrong at 4042 Falliston Drive, where Armstrong will operate a homemade clothing company.