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Requirements for Home-Based Businesses

What is a Home-Based Business?

The City has certain requirements for home-based businesses or home occupation. Home occupation is defined as a commercial use that is accessory to a residential use carried on in the home.

Home Occupation

Home occupation is defined as a commercial use that is accessory to a residential use carried on in the home.

Requirements for Home-Based Businesses

A home occupation is subject to the following:

  • It is limited to occupants of the dwelling unit except that one person who is not an occupant may participate in a medical, professional, administrative, or business office if off-street parking is provided for such person;
  • The occupation shall be conducted entirely within a dwelling unit which is the bona fide residence of the practitioner(s) or one approved, accessory structure not exceeding 25 percent of the ground floor area of the residential structure located on the same lot;
  • The residential character of the lot and dwelling must be maintained. An occupation that requires a structural alteration of the dwelling to comply with a nonresidential construction code is prohibited. This prohibition does not apply to modifications to comply with accessibility requirements;
  • The occupation shall not produce external: noise, vibration, smoke, dust, heat, glare, odor, fumes, electrical interference or waste runoff outside the dwelling unit, garage or on the property surrounding the dwelling unit;
  • The parking of a commercial vehicle identifying the business on the premises or on a street adjacent to residentially zoned property is prohibited;
  • Equipment or materials associated with the occupation must not be visible from locations off the premises;
  • The transfer of merchandise directly to a customer on the premises is permitted; however, no more than four vehicle trips each day of customer-related vehicular traffic is allowed, and
  • Advertising a home occupation by a sign on the premises is permitted but the sign area shall not exceed established limits for the district in which the property is located.

Prohibited Home Occupations

The following uses are prohibited as home occupations:

  • Animal hospitals, animal breeding;
  • Clinics, hospitals;
  • Hospital services;
  • Contractors yards;
  • Dance studios;
  • Scrap and salvage services;
  • Massage parlors (a massage therapist licensed by the state residing on the property is allowed);
  • Restaurants;
  • Alcoholic beverage establishments;
  • Rental outlets;
  • Equipment sales;
  • Adult-oriented businesses;
  • Recycling centers and drop-off recycling collection facilities;
  • An activity requiring an H occupancy as defined in the International Building Code;
  • Automotive repair services; and
  • Businesses involving the repair of any type of internal combustion engine, including equipment repair services.