Home Based Businesses
May I have a business in my home?
Under certain conditions you may operate a home based business on your residentially zoned property.
What sort of conditions do I need to meet?
The most important condition is that your business doesn’t impair the residential character of your property. Your business must be conducted in such a way that a neighbor or passer-by wouldn’t be able to tell that you’re conducting a business there.
What other restrictions will there be on my business?
If you have a minor home based business, you must live in the house where the business is located and you can’t have more than one non-resident employed on the premises. The area devoted to the business can’t exceed 30% of the area of the main dwelling. The use and storage of any equipment, hazardous materials or production of noise or electrical interference can’t be beyond what is normal for a single family home. More than routine mail or package delivery is also not allowed.
If you have trailer associated with the business, it must be stored in a side or rear yard, observing the setback requirements of your zoning districts and generally not be visible from the street. You can park one commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of up to 14,000 pounds on the property. A sign of up to two square feet is also permitted.
Minor home businesses are permitted by right do not require a zoning permit.
A major home based business requires the approval of a special permit by the Planning and Zoning Commission. In addition to the requirements for a minor home based business can have no more than three non-residents on the premises. The business must be in a conforming structure on a conforming lot. The site plan must show parking, loading and landscaped areas and evidence of adequate sewer and water service must be shown. No more than one commercial vehicle may be parked on any R1 or R2 zoned lot.
Can I operate a bed and breakfast?
A bed and breakfast is considered a major home based business and requires approval of a special permit by the Zoning Commission. The owner of the lot and the business must live on the premises. All rented rooms must be accessed from the interior of the house and there can be no cooking facilities in any of the rented rooms. The structure must meet the minimum area and dimensional requirements of the zoning district in which it is located.
Can I have day care in my home?
A family day care home (up to 6 clients) operated by the resident must be licensed under the provisions of the Connecticut General Statutes.
A group day care home (more than 6 clients) licensed by the General Statutes requires a zoning permit issued by staff. There must be at least 10,000 contiguous square feet of land area available on the lot. No recreation areas or playground equipment can be located within the required setbacks for the lot and a buffer has to be provided between the recreation area and adjacent residential properties. You must also provide one parking space for every four clients and one space per employee or caregiver.
What happens after I submit my application for a major home occupation?
Your application will be placed on the Zoning Commission’s monthly agenda and a public hearing will be scheduled. If the Commission approves the special permit, it may place reasonable restrictions concerning lighting, hours of operation and other conditions that would lessen the business’ impact on surrounding properties. This process may take about two months.