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Thread: Home occupation rights: should I sue?

  1. #1

    Home occupation rights: should I sue?

    Our town adopted an ordinance outlining a customary home occupation as being acceptable if meeting a certain criteria. A definition of that was not present in the first issue of this ordinance other than the description where the criteria was. The Criteria refered to the home or business location on the property implying the use of out buildings. The following year the wording was changed to read instead of home or business location, it reads the premises. In addition to the new wording a definition was added under definitions which say: any activties conducted for gain as a customary, incidental, and accessory use in the resident's dwelling unit. The origin of the definition remains unkown by the board members and they agree that the definition and the criteria are in conflict with each other. However I've been denied a permit to use accessory buildings for gain because of the definition even though I'm in compliance with the criteria. Can anyone shed some light on this topic?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State

    Home Occupation Rights. Should I Sue?

    It sounds like your town needs to review and update its ordinance relating to home occupations. It is not difficult to find many good examples, including some on Cyburbia. Home occupations are more widespread than typically recognized. Often, they are so inobtrusive that neighbors, much less planning staff, realize that they are occurring. For that reason, more and more communities are adopting ordinances to permit home occupations provided that they meet certain performance criteria. These will usually include the standard noise, use, hazard, appearance and other criteria, as well as some addressing potential impact on residential uses. Some limit the number of employees to one or two, limit deliveries to no more than one or two per week, put very tight restrictions on signs, limit hours.... I would suggest that you research the ordinances available. Based on what you see permitted elsewhere, make an honest assessment about whether the use you are proposing is appropriate. If so, provide you town with the examples and ask them to consider re-writing the ordinance.

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