Home Occupation Permit

TO APPLY ONLINE via Citizenserve online portal: https://www2.citizenserve.com/urbanaillinois

HOME OCCUPATIONS (from the Urbana Zoning Ordinance, Section V-12)

Home Occupation: Any occupation or profession for gain or support, carried on as an accessory use in a dwelling unit by a member or members of the household residing on the premises. (Ordinance 2016-02-009). The home occupation must meet the following limitations:

In recognition of the growing importance of home-based businesses in the local economy, the Urbana Zoning Ordinance permits certain such activities at different intensities and subject to varying requirements as set forth below.

Any person seeking a home occupation shall submit an application to the Zoning Administrator. Upon approval home occupations shall be permitted as follows:

A. Home Occupation, Type A – A home-based occupation that has minimal impact on the property and surroundings beyond the scope of residential use, involving only the occupants of the subject dwelling and resulting in only incidental traffic associated with the occupation. Such home occupations include, but are not limited to, private consulting, non-retail based arts and crafts studios, internet-based business, telecommunication-based commuting, and Day Care Homes with fewer than three children or adults. Type A Home Occupations do not require a Certificate of Occupancy or Conditional Use Permit and are permitted with the following criteria:

  1. Employees - No persons other than members of the household, residing in the dwelling unit are engaged in the home occupation.
  2. Signage - There are no signs on the premises identifying the home occupation other than a nameplate, not more than three square feet in area, only permitted as a wall-mounted sign and not internally illuminated.
  3. Exterior Visibility - The occupation is wholly operated and contained within the dwelling; and there is no activity, construction, or display that would indicate from the exterior of the building or dwelling unit that the building or dwelling unit is being used for any purpose other than residential, except for the signage provisions set forth in Section V-12.A.2. No storage of materials or equipment visible from outside the dwelling unit is permitted. Day Care Homes are exempt from the exterior visibility provisions to allow activities and equipment customary to Day Care Homes, such as outdoor play equipment.
  4. Vehicles and Customer Visits - No more than two commercial or business vehicles used in conjunction with the home occupation may be on the premises at any one time; and no more than five vehicle visits per day.
  5. Parking - No more than two commercial or business vehicles, trucks, or trailers used in conjunction with the home occupation may be parked on the premises or on an abutting street.
  6. Equipment - No mechanical or electronic equipment is used that creates objectionable noise, odors, or electronic impulses, or otherwise creates a nuisance discernible beyond the property lines of the premises. 

B. Home Occupation, Type B - A home-based occupation that exceeds the limitations of a Type A Home Occupation and involves a minor amount of traffic from individuals not residing in the household. Such activity may involve scheduled visits with outside clients or customers and employ up to two individuals not residing in the household. Type B home occupations may include, but are not limited to, music lessons, professional consultations, and personal services such as clothing alterations or shoe repair.  Type B Home Occupations require approval by the Zoning Administrator and issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.  The following restrictions and conditions apply to Type B Home Occupations:

  1. Employees - No more than two persons, other than members of the household residing in the dwelling unit, are engaged in the home occupation.
  2. Vehicles and Parking - No more than two commercial or business vehicles, trucks, or trailers used in conjunction with the home occupation may be parked on the premises or on an abutting street at any time. Up to two additional off-street parking spaces may be required by the Zoning Administrator to accommodate commercial vehicles. The Zoning Administrator may waive or reduce the off-street parking requirement based upon demand generated by the use, location of the home occupation, and on-street parking supply. No exterior storage of vehicles, other than those owned by members of the household residing on the premises, is permitted.
  3. Customer/Client Visits - No more than 10 visits per day from customers, clients, or home deliveries are permitted, with no more than three visitors present at any given time excluding Day Care Home pick-ups and drop-offs. The Zoning Administrator may require a drop-off zone as a condition of approval for the Home Occupation Permit based on demand generated by the use, safety, and on-street parking supply.
  4. Exterior Visibility – The occupation is wholly contained within the dwelling and there is no activity, construction, or display that would indicate from the exterior of the building or dwelling unit that the building or dwelling unit is being used for any purpose other than residential, except for the signage provisions set forth in Section V-12.B.5.  No outdoor storage of materials or equipment visible from a public right-of-way is permitted. Day Care Homes are exempt from the exterior visibility provisions to allow activities and equipment customary to Day Care Homes, such as outdoor play equipment.
  5. Signage – There are no signs on the premises identifying the home occupation other than a nameplate, not more than three square  feet in area, only permitted as a wall-mounted sign and not internally illuminated.
  6. Nuisance - The occupation does not or will not constitute a violation of any nuisance code.
  7. Other – The Zoning Administrator may impose other conditions on the home occupation as determined by the specifics of the application in order to meet the intentions of this Ordinance and to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the City of Urbana. 

C. Home Occupation, Type C – A home-based occupation that may have an impact on the property beyond that associated with Home Occupation Types A and B, or that exceeds the number of employees or daily visitors set forth in Section V-12.B, requires a Conditional Use Permit, in accordance with Section VII-2. Type C Home Occupations may include, but are not limited to, light assembly and packaging for internet sales, on-site sales of limited goods and services, greenhouses and plant sales, bicycle repair and sales, minor home auto repairs, group-based classes or instruction, or other occupations involving a higher volume of customers or clients than permitted under Types A or B. 

D. Prohibited Home Occupations - Any home-based activity that may use hazardous materials, or that otherwise may pose a hazard or nuisance to surrounding properties, is prohibited.  Such uses may include, but are not limited to, exterminators, chemical-based lawn care, dry cleaning, and medical diagnostic laboratories.

E. A home occupation involving vehicle repair is permitted as a home occupation only if the subject vehicles are repaired inside a garage and no inoperable vehicles are stored outside. Any vehicle to be repaired may not queue outside the garage. Additionally, the garage must meet all applicable building and fire safety codes, and any such work may not violate any of the City’s nuisance codes and ordinances. Only minor automobile repairs as defined in Article II are permitted.  Additionally, no major automobile repairs as defined in Article II are permitted as a home-based occupation.

F. More than one home occupation at a single premises may be permitted provided that the cumulative number of total employees and visitors does not exceed the restrictions set forth in this section.

G. Certificates of Occupancy for home occupations issued prior to the effective date of this amendment not meeting the conditions of Section V-12.B shall be considered legally nonconforming.

H. The sale of firearms as a home occupation shall require approval of a site security plan by the Urbana Police Chief, or designee, with renewal every three years in compliance with Section VII-5.

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- Last Modified -September 13, 2019 - 11:30am
- Author - TeriA
- Contributors: SukiR