/script>
By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Trousdale County’s Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-2 Tuesday afternoon to reject a homeowner’s request to operate a business from their Puryears Bend residence.

Haven Nutt, owner of Heart Haven LLC, was requesting permission under a special exemption to the county’s zoning ordnances to operate a fitness studio in the basement of her home, along with nutrition counseling, group exercise and paddleboard classes.

“Physical expression, movement and fueling the mind and body is at the core of health and that’s what Heart Haven teaches and promotes,” Nutt told board members.

Nutt had been operating her business in a limited capacity earlier in the summer, with friends and family as clients, under a working agreement with county government.

Board members Tammy Dixon, Peggy Taylor and Robert Thurman voted to reject the request, while Mark Harper and Ron Moreland voted to approve.

Concerns were raised by residents along Puryears Bend Road about potential traffic and the effects of a home business on other property values. Board members also noted pages on Heart Haven’s website promoting special events at the facility, such as movie nights and kids camps.

Board members did note that Nutt could seek to rezone the property to commercial, which would allow for her business without BZA approval.

“It appears to me that everything you’re doing is a commercial activity,” said BZA chairman Dixon.

In her defense, Nutt cited other home businesses in Hartsville that have been allowed to operate and noted that she has not held special events since the BZA meeting was scheduled. She said she had simply neglected to take those pages down from her website.

The request for approval would have limited traffic to three vehicles and no more than five people per day, with no business allowed on the weekend. The paddleboard classes were also removed from the request.

Nutt said she was disappointed but would look to find other alternatives.

“My business is my passion; I believe I have a God-given purpose to help people with their health and wellness. I’m definitely not going to give up,” she said.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.