In most municipalities, Home Occupations are special cases of businesses. Businesses operating out of the home usually have to comply with regulations—such as number of clients seen, number of deliveries, and use of space—ensuring that the operation of the business does not interfere with the peace and quiet of residential zones.

OpenCounter portals do not ask questions to determine whether a particular business will be permitted as a home occupation, but they ask whether an applicant plans to operate their business out of their home.

The below gif demonstrates this workflow in Morgan Hill, California, for a client that has selected the use "Computer and data processing services", one of those eligible for home occupation approval:

In order to determine which applicants should see this question, we ask staff for a list of land uses that should be asked about home-based operation.

Note: Some communities list "Home occupation" (or similar) in their land use table. We do not include "Home occupation" as a land use, because it does not provide staff with information about the nature of the business. We ask applicants to select a use, such as "Professional office", and then ask whether they plan to operate their "Professional office" business out of their home.

But we shouldn't ask all businesses if they are a home occupation. For example, bars, or wrecking or salvage yards, should probably not be run out of a home. Therefore, from staff, we need a list of businesses/uses that should be asked the question. We will then reflect a different set of permissions if the answer is yes. Based on their answer to the home occupation question, we will also then be able to show specific home occupation questions that your jurisdiction may have, such as "How many clients will you see at your home?"

Keep in mind that this question does not necessarily lead to a home occupation being approved. In most cases, we'll set permissions to the home occupation permissions already defined (generally permitted in residential zones and prohibited where homes are prohibited). In one case, a city asked that all home-based businesses be set to Conditional. We can set these permissions to be anything your muncipality needs.

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