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                                     Allegan County, Michigan

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Frequently Asked Questions On Home Occupations and Family Businesses
What is a Home Occupation?
According to the Zoning Ordinance found at:
Section 3.16 Home Occupation.  A gainful occupation traditionally or customarily carried on in the home as a use incidental to the use of the home as a dwelling place. Home occupations may include any profession, vocation, or trade, such as beauty shops, barber shops, nursery schools caring for more than three children, and photographic studios. The space must be located within the home which is devoted to the occupation and cannot exceed 300 square feet in area. No retail sales shall be allowed other than the incidental sale of items related to the permissible services being performed.
What is a Family Business?
According to the Zoning Ordinance found at:
Section 6.02
(k)  Family Business: (A business which is incidental to the principal residential use of property) as a special use, subject to the provisions of Section 11.22 and the following regulations:
              (1)  The business must be operated solely within a building or structure.
              (2)  No outdoor storage shall be allowed unless same cannot be reasonably stored within a building or structure. Such outdoor storage area shall be located to the rear of the business and shall be adequately screened to effectively block all view from adjoining roads and properties.
              (3)  The business shall be located on the same parcel with the family's residence.
              (4)  Only family members of a resident who resides on the parcel shall work in the business; there shall be no other employees working in the business.
              (5)  There shall be no expansion of the business without the approval of the Planning Commission.
              (6)  No services shall be sold or conducted upon or from the premises which would constitute a nuisance or annoyance to adjoining residents by reason of noise, smoke, odor, electrical disturbance, night lighting or creation of unreasonable traffic to the premises. Noise, smoke, odor, electrical disturbance of lighting shall not be discernible beyond the boundaries of the property from which the occupation is conducted.
               (7)  There shall be a minimum distance of 25 feet between any adjoining property line and any building, storage area or parking area used in connection with the business.
               (8)  The Planning Commission may limit the family occupation to a particular type of business; it may limit the size of the building; it may require the particular business to be operated only by the present owner and not by future owners or tenants; it may allow the business to operate for only a specific period of months or years unless an additional permit is granted. The Planning Commission may impose additional conditions and regulations as it deems necessary to adequately protect adjoining residents and property owners and the value of adjoining properties.
 
You might need a permit if:
  • You have a sign.
  • You have traffic that regularly comes and leaves the premises.
  • People are constantly looking for parking spaces on or off the premises.
If I bring work home and work on my computer, does that constitute a home occupation?
No. This does not constitute a home occupation because your principal business is off-site. This also assumes no one is coming to your premises.
Can I advertise by a sign on my car that my car is for sale?
Yes. This does not constitute a business unless you start advertising and selling a number of cars.
If I sell items on E-Bay, does this constitute a home occupation?
No. However, if the selling of items involves the storage of merchandise of any sufficient quantity on the premises involving constant delivery trucks coming and going all hours of the day or the dropping and picking up merchandise, then this would constitute either a home occupation or a home business which would require a permit.
If you have any questions or any doubts about whether your activities may constitute the necessity for a special use permit, please contact Professional Code Inspections at 1-800-628-3335.
3440 M-40 info@heathtownship.net Hamilton, MI 49419