A home-based business is when one of the permanent residents in home conducts a gainful occupation or business activity in the dwelling. The Land Use Bylaw allows home-based businesses, provided they meet all the requirements. The basic rules are:
- No outside storage of goods and materials related to the business
- Only residents working at the dwelling
- Only one business vehicle, which must be parked on-site (not on the street)
- No signs nor advertising, excluding that found on a business-related vehicle
- No nuisances by way of noise, vibration, smoke, dust, fumes, odours, heat, glare, or electrical or radio interference, detectable beyond the property limits
The two types of home-based businesses are minor (permitted use) and major (discretionary use).
Home-based Business: Minor
In addition to the general rules listed above, no aspect of the business may be detected from outside the property:
- No client contact at the residence
- The maximum floor area that the business can occupy is 30% of the residence
- No exterior alterations or additions related to the business are allowed
Home-based Business: Major
In addition to the general rules listed above:
- A maximum of six client visits per day are allowed
- Hours of operation are limited to 7 am to 8 pm
- A minimum of one on-site client parking space must be provided
- The business is conducted wholly within the residence
- The maximum floor area that the business can occupy is 30% of the residence and one accessory building
- Alterations or additions related to the business may be allowed
The home-based business development permit application (PDF) form must be completed in full and submitted along with the supporting information and processing fee. We may require more detailed information and studies, at your cost, depending upon the size, complexity and potential impacts of your proposed development.
Once your application is submitted, staff will review it and the supporting documents and determine if there is sufficient information to make a decision.
If more information is needed, staff will request the necessary documents to make the application complete. In some cases, the completed application will be circulated to various city departments, outside agencies and neighbouring properties for comment. The City Development Officer will render a decision on the application as soon as possible or by such time extension as granted by the Development Officer.
Proposal Acceptance or Denial
After reviewing the development proposal, comments and recommendations, the development officer may approve the application with or without conditions. The application may also be refused, with reasons stated.
Once your application is approved, please fill out a Business Licence Application (PDF).
Any decision of the Development Authority is subject to appeal to the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB). A Notice of Appeal form, (available from City staff), must be completed and filed, along with a processing fee, with the Secretary of the Board within 14 days of the date shown on the Notice of Decision (in the case of a refusal), or 14 days of the Notice of Decision appearing in City newspaper advertising, in the case of an approval.
There is no fee for a Minor Home Occupation and a Major Home Occupation will have a fee of $100 to $200 depending on intensity.
We strongly advise you to discuss your proposal with City Staff as soon as possible. We can provide early guidance, describe the process, and ensure that you are heading in the right direction.