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A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish criteria and development standards to allow home occupations in dwelling units within residential zoning districts and other zoning districts that allow residential uses. The criteria and development standards allow residents to carry on a business within their residence while protecting neighboring residents from excessive noise, traffic, nuisances, fire hazards and other possible potential negative impacts from the maintenance of a commercial use within a residential neighborhood.

B. General Provisions.

1. Criteria for Approval. All home occupations shall meet the following criteria:

a. The business shall be incidental to the use of such dwelling unit for residential purposes.

b. The business owner shall reside in and own, lease or rent the dwelling unit from which the business is operated.

c. Limited on-premises sale of products or stock-in-trade is permitted, provided the applicant can clearly demonstrate such sales will not be inconsistent with other general requirements of this section. Examples of allowable on-premises sales include cosmetics or similar products associated with a business where most products are delivered to a customer’s address, hair care products associated with a barber/beauty shop, and instructional materials pertinent to the home occupations, e.g., music books.

d. No outdoor storage or other exterior indication of the business shall be visible beyond the subject property.

e. Commercial vehicles shall not be used.

f. A business license from the city shall be obtained, as required by MMC Title 5, Business Regulations and Licensing.

g. No noise, vibration, emissions, dust, odor, heat, or glare that would exceed what is normally associated with a dwelling shall be produced by the business beyond the subject property.

h. Activities conducted and equipment or material used shall not change the fire safety or occupancy classification of the premises.

i. No structural or decorative alteration to the dwelling unit is permitted related to the home occupation.

j. Delivery service shall neither restrict traffic or circulation nor overload public or private roads.

2. Exemptions.

a. Garage sales that meet the requirements of Chapter 5.04 MMC, Garage Sales; yard sales; bake sales; temporary home boutiques or bazaars for handcrafted items; parties for the display of domestic products; and other like uses that do not need to comply with the requirements of this chapter as long as the use does not operate for more than four days semiannually or in violation of other provisions of this code.

b. Day care services, as defined by this code. The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services preempts the city’s ability to regulate these facilities. Applicants wishing to attain a business license from the city shall submit a copy of their state license with a completed business license application.

3. Prohibited Activities. Because the following activities have a pronounced tendency to expand beyond the limits permitted for home occupations, negatively impact residential neighborhoods, and create a nuisance, the following activities are prohibited:

a. The retail sale of goods and products not produced or fabricated on the premises of the dwelling unit.

b. The outdoor storage of building or construction materials, tractor-trailers, semi-trucks, heavy equipment, vehicles, recreational vehicles (RVs), or boats associated with a home occupation.

c. Any manufacturing business or activity that produces noxious matter or perceptible noise beyond the lot line.

4. Preexisting Home Occupations. Any home occupation that lawfully existed prior to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be allowed to continue in accordance with Chapter 22.40 MMC, Nonconformance and Reuse Standards. The expansion of preexisting nonconforming uses is not permitted.

5. Violations. Compliance with the requirements of this code shall be mandatory. The general penalties and remedies established in Chapter 1.04 MMC for such violations shall apply to any violation of this code. The enforcement actions authorized under this code shall be supplemental to those general penalties and remedies of Chapter 1.04 MMC. The business license for the home occupation may be revoked as one of the remedies in the code enforcement process of Chapter 1.04 MMC.

6. Expiration. All permits for home occupations are issued to an individual applicant and shall not be transferred or otherwise assigned to any other person. The permit will automatically expire when the applicant named on the permit application moves from the site. The home occupation permit shall also automatically expire if the permittee fails to maintain a valid city of Monroe business license or the business license is suspended or revoked. The home occupation shall not be transferred to any site other than that described in the application form.

C. Minor Home Occupations. A home occupation that complies with the criteria established in this subsection shall be considered minor and permitted in all zoning districts in which home occupations are a permitted use. Administrative review by the community development department will commence upon the city’s receipt of a business license application to determine compliance with this chapter. Minor home occupations shall meet all of the following criteria as well as those established in subsection (B)(1) of this section:

1. No more than one person who is not a resident of the dwelling unit shall be employed in the home occupation at any one time.

2. The business shall be conducted wholly in the dwelling unit and/or attached structures, including garages.

3. The home occupation shall be limited to twenty-five percent of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit and attached garage, including the storage of associated materials.

4. No expansion of the parking area is allowed beyond that required for a residence. No parking in the setbacks or buffers is allowed, except driveways.

5. The use shall not generate additional vehicle traffic beyond that typical for the residence and one employee. No more than twenty total vehicle trips per day are permitted for the residence.

6. A dwelling unit being used for the purposes of phone service and as a mail stop for a business that is conducted away from such dwelling unit shall be considered a minor home occupation. The applicant is required to submit a letter with the home occupation business license, describing the business and its consistency with the above description.

D. Major Home Occupations. A major home occupation is any business that employs more than one nonresident employee or impacts the neighborhood beyond the conditions of a minor home occupation as determined by the community development department. Major home occupations will be encouraged to locate within transitional areas and commercial zoning districts that allow residential uses. The community development department will determine if the proposed business is a major home occupation at the time of business license application. Major home occupations shall meet all of the following criteria as well as those established in subsection (B)(1) of this section:

1. The business may be conducted within the dwelling unit or any other accessory building on the premises.

2. The business, including operations and storage, shall occupy no more than thirty percent of the residential gross floor area.

3. The building official shall determine the maximum occupancy load of the residence in which the home occupation is proposed; the hearing examiner shall consider this number along with all other pertinent facts and comments in determining the maximum number of employees allowed on the premises to work in the home occupation at any one time.

4. The subject property shall not be altered except to install screening or buffers or to provide additional off-street parking stalls, as required by the condition of the approved permit. No parking in yards and buffers shall be allowed, except driveways.

5. Access ways shall be accessible to emergency vehicles.

6. A major home occupation shall commence only after the issuance of a conditional use permit (CUP), as detailed in Chapter 22.64 MMC.

7. An approved conditional use permit for a major home occupation shall be nontransferable to any other property and shall be nontransferable to any future tenant or property owner of the subject dwelling unit the conditional use permit was applied for.

8. Additional requirements may be necessary to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood depending upon the home occupation applied for. (Ord. 005/2019 § 10 (Exh. B))