Home Occupation Permits for Home-based Businesses
A home occupation is defined as an office or a business of a personal nature conducted by the occupant of a dwelling as a secondary use.
PERMIT REQUIREMENTHome occupation permit applications may be downloaded or sent by mail. Your home occupation cannot alter the residential character of the neighborhood, there can be no external evidence of its operation, and the proposed use must conform to certain conditions as listed below.
Required Conditions to Obtain a Permit
- Generally, one home occupation permit is allowed per dwelling. More than one home occupation permit may be approved subject to compliance with the intent and purpose of the Code that the use of the residence maintains its residential character; that issuance of an additional permit does not require an additional commercial vehicle; exceed 20 percent of the floor area of the residence; and that the proposed home occupation permit is compatible with the pre-existing home occupation.
- There can only be a maximum of two residents involved in the home occupation.
- It is not allowed to display or sell goods, samples, materials or objects on the premises. This condition is not intended to prohibit the temporary interior storage of materials used in the operation of the home occupation as long as such storage does not create a health or safety problem or a neighborhood nuisance.
- Customers may not be served on the premises.
Exception: When a home occupation is involved in educational services (i.e. piano lessons), customers may be on the premises, so long as it does not generate pedestrian or vehicular traffic beyond the normal for the district and that it does not create a neighborhood nuisance.
- No more than 20% of the total floor area of the dwelling unit may be used in connection with any home occupation.
- No sign, nameplate, or any other form of advertising may be displayed on the premises.
- No addition, alteration, or remodeling of a home in connection with any home occupation is permitted.
- The access to that portion of the dwelling used for the home occupation is required to be through the main entrance.
- Home occupation operation is to take place in the main portion of the home and not in the garage, basement, shed etc.
- No more than one commercial motor vehicle, together with equipment, tools, and stock-in-trade maintained that is used in connection with the home occupation, is to be permitted in any residential district. However, such tools and equipment is not to be used for performance of services, and stock-in-trade is not sold from the premises.
Contractors may obtain a Home Occupation Permit. However, in addition to the standard conditions listed above, additional conditions such as those listed below will be enforced:
- The activity shall be conducted as a home office only;
- Home occupations are limited to a maximum of two employees, which also reside at the home. No employees other than those limited by the provision above are allowed on the property. The property shall not serve as a meeting or gathering point in the course of business activities;
- No building or landscape materials associated with the home-based business shall be stored or accumulated on the property. This shall include any debris or refuse generated as a result of the business activity; and,
- All equipment and tools shall be stored indoors. No heavy equipment shall be stored on the property except those tools and machinery normally used on a residential property. Heavy equipment includes, but is not limited to, dump trucks, trailers and trailer-mounted equipment, "bobcats", backhoes, and scaffolding.
Please visit the Business Licensing Division for additional information.
HOME OCCUPATIONS NOT ALLOWED IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS
- The repair, manufacture, processing or alteration of goods, materials, or objects. Exceptions: Dressmaking, tailoring, and the manufacturing of arts and crafts items intended for off-premise sale where no equipment or process is used which creates an adverse impact on the neighborhood.
- Any use involving food handling, processing, or packing.
- Harboring, training, or raising dogs, cats, birds, horses, or other animals.
- Automobile service and/or body and fender repairing.
If the use for which a home occupation permit has been granted ceases for a period of 180 consecutive days, all permits issued shall become void. For further information, please contact the Duty Planner via email or call (925) 256-3558.