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Home Occupation- Zoning and Permitting Requirements
What is a Home Occupation?
“Home occupation” means an economic enterprise carried on within an owner-occupied dwelling unit (which includes mobile homes), or accessory building, which is incidental and subordinate to the primary residential use of the dwelling unit as outlined in the residential performance standards of this code. A home occupation a) has no employees who are not also residents of the dwelling unit and b) may not have more than one client visiting the dwelling unit at any given time, both of which distinguish a home occupation from other businesses. A City of Sultan business license is required and shall be in conformance with the home occupation regulations.
What are the Requirements for a Home Occupation?
A home occupation is allowable as an accessory use in a principal dwelling unit or accessory building in any residential zone. All provisions of the Zoning Code pertaining to residential uses shall be met. In addition, all of the following standards shall apply.
- Outdoor display or storage of materials, goods, supplies, or equipment related to home occupation shall be prohibited.
- There shall be no changes to the exterior of the principal building or accessory building nor any visible evidence that the principal building or accessory building also contains a home occupation.
- A home occupation shall not generate nuisances such as on-street parking, noise, electrical interference, or hazards.
- There shall be no persons outside of the immediate household residing in the subject dwelling unit employed in the home occupation.
- No more than one client of the home occupation business may visit the dwelling unit at any given time, and an off-street parking space must be provided for that client.
- The maximum area devoted to a home occupation shall be no greater than 25 percent of the gross floor area of the principal dwelling unit.
Note: Home Occupations also require the purchase of a business license from the Department of Revenue for the City of Sultan. For additional information on Business Licenses please contact the City of Sultan at 360.793.2231.
Why are Home Occupations Regulated?
The purpose in regulating commercial activities in residential dwellings is to ensure compatible uses which do not add traffic, noise or other environmental conditions such as dust and odors.
Prohibited Activities of a Home Occupation?
Because the following activities have a pronounced tendency to expand beyond the limits permitted for home occupations, negatively impact residential neighborhoods, and create a nuisance, the following activities are prohibited:
- The retail sale of goods and products not produced or fabricated on the premises of the dwelling unit; and
- The outdoor storage of building or construction materials, tractor trailers, semi-trucks, heavy equipment, vehicles, recreational vehicles (RVs), or boats associated with a home occupation.
Pre-existing Home Occupations?
A home occupation that lawfully existed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall be allowed to continue in accordance with Chapter 16.26 SMC.
Violations of the Home Occupation Regulations?
Violations of this chapter shall be enforced in accordance with Chapter 1.10 SMC; provided, that as an additional remedy to the code enforcement provisions contained in Chapter 1.10 SMC, a home occupation business license may be revoked in response to a violation of this chapter.