With the pandemic, home businesses are growing and that is causing some changes in zoning issues.
The town of Florence’s Planning and Zoning Commission met on Nov. 5 and Dec. 3, 2020, to discuss a draft development code amendment to update the current definition of “home occupation.”
In a report given to the Florence Town Council on Monday, March 1, staff said home occupations previously were simple to process. But recently they have begun receiving requests for home offices with an employee outside the family or more intensive uses.
"To provide information for the Planning and Zoning Commission and Town Council to consider, staff reviewed the home occupation requirements from several communities. These other communities have addressed home occupations in a variety of ways. We have attempted to provide a summary of these requirements and restrictions," according to the staff report.
Under the explanation of a home occupation, staff presented these metrics:
- Any occupation or profession carried on by a member(s) of a family residing on the premises plus no more than one non-resident family member or employee.
- The use must be incidental to the use of the structure as a residence and occupy no more than 25% of the residence or no more than 200 square feet of the garage or 400 square feet of an accessory structure legally placed on the property, whichever is less.
- No alterations may made be made to the exterior elevations of a home to accommodate the occupation.
- There shall be no signs permitted to advertise the home occupation. There shall be no buildings or structures other than those permitted in the district. The home occupation may not generate pedestrian or vehicular traffic beyond that normal to the residential district in which it is located.
- Delivery trucks shall not continually operate in or out of the residential premises as a function of a commercial use for which a permit is required. (This provision is not intended to prohibit periodic deliveries in a truck or vehicle owned by the resident family and primarily used as a means of transportation.)
- No use of material or mechanical equipment not recognized as being part of normal household or hobby use.
- Home occupation must obtain a Town of Florence business license. A business license for a home occupation shall not be issued if the proposed operation will constitute a fire hazard to neighboring residences; will adversely affect neighboring property values; or will constitute a nuisance or be detrimental to neighbors.
- Home occupation office activities for construction-related firms should store any construction related equipment, vehicles capable of carrying over 1 ton of payload, supplies or materials off-premises.
- Storage of flammable liquids in excess of 10 gallons, related to the home occupation, shall not be stored in the residence, accessory structure, or parked vehicles at the residential site. No hazardous materials beyond normal household use may be stored as part of a home occupation in the home, accessory structure, or parked vehicles at the residential site.
The March 1 zoning changes were part of a first reading to council. On Monday, March 15, the town council will have a second reading of the change and take action.