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If you will be operating the business from your residence, you will need to complete a Home Occupation Permit Form requesting authorization to operate a business in a residential zone.

If you are not the owner of the residence, you will need to ask the owner or property manager to sign the application giving permission to use the residence as a business location.

Applications are reviewed for proper compliance and approved, if appropriate, by the Planning Division of the Community Development Department. There is a one-time fee of $25 for the permit. Once approved and required fees are paid, a license is issued and you may conduct business in the City. A "Business License Certificate" will be mailed after the license is processed.

What is a Home Occupation?

A Home Occupation is a profession or other occupation not otherwise permitted in the district, which is conducted as an accessory use on a residential plot by one or more members of the family residing on the premises, and which in residential districts conforms to all conditions in section 21.23.070 of the municipal code (as follows):

  1. The profession or other occupation shall be carried on wholly within the main building or
  2. Not more than one-half of the floor area of the ground floor of the principal building is used for the occupation.
  3. There shall be no exterior storage of materials and equipment, and no other exterior indication of such Home Occupation or variation from the residential character of the principal building.
  4. There shall be no retail sales on the premises
  5. In particular, a Home Occupation includes, but is not limited to: art studio; dress-making; teaching, with musical or dancing instruction limited to a single pupil at a time; author; artist; musician or similar use; but shall not include animal hospital; automotive repair service; barbershop; beauty parlor; restaurant; tea room; tavern or similar use
  6. There shall be no signs identifying the business.

Exception for Hardship: The Planning Commission may grant an exception to the strict application of the above requirements when the applicant is able to show that there is a hardship upon the applicant which warrants such an exception. In such cases the applicant must prove that the activity for which the permit is requested is one that is light, clean, free from noise, and will have no adverse effect upon the residential character of the neighborhood. All such applications shall be granted by a use permit and shall be subject to annual review. (Ord. 441 N.S. (part), 1979).

In addition to the above regulations, Section 21.21.040 sets, for all land uses, general performance standards, which govern noise, electromagnetic interference, vibration, smoke, odors, dust fumes and other nuisances.

When is a Home Occupation Application required?

A Home Occupation Permit is required in addition to a Business License any time the proposed use is not normally permitted in a residential zone but meets all conditions in section 21.23.070 of the Municipal Code (as noted above).

If you have determined or been advised that you need a Home Occupation Permit, you may download and fill out the Home Occupation Application [pdf:76k/1pp] and return it, along with your business license application, to the Administrative Services Department at 821 Pine Street, Suite A. Once approved, the $25 home occupation fee will be invoiced to you along with your business license.


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