alternatives to traditional home occupation provisions

Asked February 27, 2013, 5:14 PM EST

What alternatives to traditional home occupation regulations are being developed? I am thinking of rural communities where small business/cottage industries might fit into some but not all districts without offending the neighbors (suburban estates, large lot residential, agricultural). Is there some literature or examples of ordinance provisions available?

Lenawee County Michigan

1 Response

Communities typically regulate home occupations by the type of occupation. They are usually classified by categories that split them into occupations that do not bring customers into the home and those that would create traffic into the home by customers or suppliers. Newer forms of regulation focus on developing performance based standards to manage home based occupations. There are a variety of these standards that can be employed to accomplish the goals of maintaining the character of these communities. These standards include regulating the size of the home occupation by floor area, regulating the number of home occupations within a dwelling unit, regulating parking, limiting employees outside of the household, limiting by trip generation to manage traffic generated, and regulating signage for the home occupation. Numerous communities prohibit the alteration of the outside of the structure for the home occupation. These are all in addition to the typical standards regarding noise, light, odors, electronic interference or other external effects attributed to home occupations. One discretionary standard states “the home occupation and operation thereof shall not impair the residential character of the premises nor impair the character of other residential property in the neighborhood. These standards and performance criteria will vary depending on the character of the district the home occupation is located in, but flexible performance techniques allow for variation and consideration of adjoining properties. The home based business council has published a model ordinance based on legislation from New Jersey, and has also been published by HUD’s regulatory barriers clearinghouse as a model solution.