Could be true.<quoted text>
I asked a friend in code enforcement. The house does not meet the standards required by state law. There are other houses in Asheville providing similar services, mostly for rehabilitation, and they are meeting them. These ladies were told to get up to code, or cease to operate, and they have not met the requirements. There has to be enough exits from the residence in case of emergency (fire), beyond what is required for a single family residence. There has to be fire extinguishers as well as smoke detectors and, depending on the type of heating, possibly a carbon monoxide detector. Evacuation plans have to be developed and posted, etc... A person just can't open a business, invite the public in, disregard safety issues, and state law regulates what constitutes these codes, not the city nor the council.
But in this case there may be a blurred line between a private home inviting guests and a building serving the public.
Does anyone know if this is a case of a church existing in a neighborhood zoned Single Family or Duplex Residence Only? That would be my issue, that the City would prohibit a small-scale house church in such a neighborhood. The rest of it, I don't really care about that much.