Should the City modify the current home based business definition and standards as proposed?
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The City Commission appointed the 11 member Zoning Ordinance Revision Task Force (ZTF) to recommend changes to the zoning ordinance as part of the ongoing implementation of the 2010 Strategic Plan. The plan can be found at www.decaturnext.com. The ZTF has spent the past year considering several tasks from the Strategic Plan and they are ready to make a recommendation.
They would like your input on the following recommendation:
"The goal of the code changes are to allow for more uses while protecting the residential character of the neighborhood. The ZTF recommends changing the current definition and standards as follows:
Home Occupation: Any occupation within a dwelling and clearly incidental thereto.
- Business must be carried on by a family member and no more than 1 unrelated employee working 20 hours a week or less.
- No sales displays visible from outside the home.
- Signage is limited to 24 square inches attached to the building
- Home Occupation Examples include – art studio, teacher, professional services, web-based services, barbershops and beauty parlors.
- Prohibited Use Examples include – restaurants, veterinarians, medical clinics and other health related professions.
- Contact with the public is limited to 2 persons at a time.
- Operations are prohibited from midnight to 6 a.m.
- Artists and other studio type operations can host “studio tour” type functions once per month.
- Commercial deliveries are limited to 20 deliveries per week.
- No more than 25% of the total floor area of the main dwelling can be used for a home occupation.
- Every home occupation will be required to obtain a home based business license.
- No outdoor open storage related to the business is allowed.
- No vehicle exceeding one ton capacity shall be allowed to park on the property."
As technology and employment continue to evolve, more Decatur residents are running small businesses from their homes. Although current zoning regulates the types of home businesses that can occur, these may need to be reviewed or modified periodically to ensure their relevance.
“Home Occupation” is defined in Section 4.1.35 of the zoning ordinance. This defines what types of businesses are allowed in residential areas.
Home occupation. Any occupation within a dwelling and clearly incidental thereto, carried on by a member of the family residing on the premises, provided that no person not a resident of the premises is employed, no stock in trade is kept or commodities sold, no mechanical equipment is used except such that is normally used for family, domestic, or household purposes, and there is no exterior indication, other than a nameplate not more than 24 square inches in area, attached to the dwelling unit, that the building is being used for any purpose other than the dwelling. When within the above requirements, a home occupation includes but is not limited to the following:
(c)Professional office of a learned profession, real estate agent, insurance agent, or other similar occupation.
Contact with the public shall be limited to no more than two persons in the home at one time. A home occupation shall not be interpreted to include barbershops, beauty parlors, restaurants, veterinarian offices, medical, dental, or chiropractic offices or offices of similar health-related professions.
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