A quick search of the forums didn't show a previous discussion on this topic so I'm wondering about the prohibition of "internet sales" vs standard commercial sales within residential zoning districts.
Strictly speaking, our zoning codes do NOT allow for the "commercial sale" of good in any residential districts. However, today I am working on a Home Occupation Special Use Permit request for an at-home photography studio. The applicant has stated that all "sales" will be via the internet. That is, once the studio session is complete, the customer can view, order and pay for all photos from the comfort of their own home. No physical exchange of cash will take place and photos will be mailed to the customer so *technically* no "sale" is taking place on the subject tract whatsoever.
Our ordinances don't distinguish b/t internet sales and "standard" commercial sales (although perhaps they should).
So, two questions:
1) For *this* case, I believe that we should consider what *causes* the prohibition of commercial sale of goods in residential zoning districts. In my mind, its solely "traffic generation". And since internet sales eliminate automobile traffic, we've eliminated the primary "negative externality." Can anyone think of other reasons to prohibit this type of home occupation so long as all sales are via the internet?
2) Anyone familiar with municipalities which have effectively addressed this same issue in their zoning codes? I'd sure like to hear how this has been dealt with elsewhere.
Thanks in advance for your input!