Home-Based Business Zoning Regulations

If you live in Avon Lake and you run a small business out of your home, you do not need a zoning permit. You just need to abide by the Home Occupancy Regulations that the City has adopted.

1240.07 Home Occupancy Regulations

The purpose of this section is to set forth regulations which control the establishment and operation of home occupations. The intent of these regulations is to control the nonresidential use of a residential dwelling unit so that the nonresidential use is limited to an accessory use, and does not in any manner whatsoever disrupt or alter the residential character of the neighborhood in which it is located. Compliance with the regulations contained in Sections 1240.07(a) through (j) should result in all home occupations being located and conducted in such a manner that their existence is not detectable in any manner from the outside of the dwelling unit.

(a) The home occupation shall be clearly incidental and secondary in importance to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes.

(b)  Any on-site business related in any manner to the home occupation shall be conducted by occupants of the dwelling unit. One subordinate additional service employee shall be permitted to be employed on the premises.

(c) The business activity, including the storage of equipment, supplies or any apparatus used in the home occupation, shall be conducted entirely within the dwelling unit and no use of a garage, an accessory building or an outdoor area shall be permitted.

(d) A home occupation may be conducted in any area of the dwelling including the basement provided such home occupation shall occupy no more than one room in the dwelling unit or an area equal to twenty percent (20%) of the area of the main floor of the dwelling unit, whichever is greater. The area of an attached garage shall not be included when calculating the area of the main floor of the dwelling unit.

(e) Any activity, material, goods, or equipment indicative of the proposed use shall be carried on, utilized or stored within the dwelling unit and shall not be visible from any public way or adjacent property.

(f) The business activity shall only use customary home equipment and shall not create a nuisance by reason of generating any noise, odor, dust, vibrations, fumes, smoke, electromagnetic interference or truck or delivery vehicle traffic which would depreciate or change the residential character of the neighborhood in which the proposed use is located.

(g) There shall not be any sign or change in the outside appearance of the building or premises, or other visible exterior change related to the home occupation except for name plates permitted on a residence pursuant to Section 1262.04. For a home occupation, the name plate may include the professional initials of the resident (i.e. A.I.A., C.P.A., M.R.A., Ph.D., etc.).

(h) The business activity shall not constitute a fire hazard endangering the site of the home occupation and adjoining property sites. There shall be no storage of hazardous, combustible or flammable matter, accumulation of rubbish or waste paper, and storage of cartons and/or boxes situated in a manner that would endanger life or property in case of an actual fire.

(i) The business activity shall not cause an increase in the use of any one or more public utilities (water, sewer, electric, sanitation, etc.) so that the combined use of the residence and home occupation does not exceed the average use for residences in the neighborhood of the proposed use.

(j) There shall not be regular selling of goods or service and/or other activities which result in the number of automobiles or trucks attracted to the premises being greater than that which is normally associated with residential uses, including normal fluctuations in the level of residential activities.

(Ord. 52-99.  Passed 3-22-99.)