40.260.100 Home Businesses

A.    Purpose.

    The purpose of this section is to protect the integrity of zoning districts of Clark County while allowing the use of property for home businesses. This section establishes approval criteria and standards to ensure that home businesses are (1) conducted as lawful uses that allow for economic development compatible with the use of neighboring properties, and (2) secondary to the use of the dwelling for living purposes and maintain residential character of the neighborhood.

B.    Applicability and Exemptions.

1.    Applicability. All home businesses not exempt pursuant to this section shall be subject to the standards specified in this section. A rural home business is located in a zoning district outside an urban growth boundary. An urban home business is located in a zoning district inside an urban growth boundary but outside of any city limits.

2.    Exemptions. The following uses are exempt from the provisions of this section:

a.    Lawfully established home occupations established prior to June 15, 2004;

b.    Agriculture and forest uses;

c.    Hobbies not engaged in for financial gain; and

d.    Parking of no more than one (1) business vehicle with a GVW of ten thousand one (10,001) pounds or less used by a resident for transportation to and from the dwelling.

3.    Uses otherwise allowed outright, as a conditional use, or by review and approval in the district in which the property is located cannot be approved under this section.

(Amended: Ord. 2009-12-01)

C.    Definitions.

1.    Activity Area. See “home business activity area.”

2.    Heavy Equipment. “Heavy equipment” means any freestanding piece of equipment with a gross vehicle weight of fifteen thousand (15,000) pounds (as defined by the manufacturer) or greater that is used for the purpose of a home business and that is typically transported to a job site by a vehicle. The term shall include equipment that is motorized or nonmotorized, stationary, or self-propelled. Tools or pieces of machinery that are permanently located within an accessory structure shall not be counted as heavy equipment for the purposes of this section.

3.    Home Business. “Home business” means a business in conjunction with a residential use which results in financial remuneration from a product or service and is conducted by at least one (1) resident occupying the dwelling on the subject property.

4.    Home Business Activity Area. “Home business activity area” (hereafter “activity area”) means a defined outside area used in conjunction with a home business that includes all outside activities associated with the home business, including, but not limited to parking areas used for business vehicles and equipment, areas used for loading and unloading, worker or client parking areas, and areas used for outdoor storage.

5.    Incidental Retail Sales. “Incidental retail sales” means retail sales that are ancillary and secondary to the home business, such as selling shampoo from a home hair salon.

6.    Outdoor Storage. “Outdoor storage” means the outdoor holding of any materials or merchandise, whether covered or uncovered, used or associated with a home business.

7.    Trailer. A “trailer” is a nonmotorized vehicle that is licensed for road use that is used exclusively, or in part, for the purpose of a home business. Trailers equipped by the manufacturer as combination tractor-trailers shall not be counted as a separate trailer, but shall be considered together with their tractor a part of a single vehicle.

8.    Vehicle. For the purposes of this section, “vehicle” means any motorized vehicle licensed for road use that is used exclusively, or in part, for the purpose of a home business. A vehicle equipped by the manufacturer to serve as a combination tractor-trailer shall be counted as a single vehicle.

D.    General Standards and Provisions.

    The following standards and provisions shall apply to all home businesses in Clark County:

1.    Home businesses shall be owned and operated by a resident owner or renter of the property who occupies the property as their principal residence.

2.    A home business permit may cover more than one (1) business on a parcel as long as such businesses in combination do not exceed the applicable standards in this section.

3.    The maximum use of a dwelling devoted to a home business shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross floor area of the dwelling or exceed one thousand (1,000) square feet, whichever is less. Gross floor area includes a basement and attached garage, but does not include an unfinished attic or a detached garage. Additional standards for accessory structures (including detached garages) are included in Sections 40.260.100(E), (F) and (G).

4.    One (1) sign related to the home business of two (2) square feet or less is allowed in the urban area or six (6) square feet or less in the rural area. A separate sign permit is not needed if included with the home business permit application.

5.    Prohibited uses include on-site retail (other than incidental), adult entertainment enterprises as defined in Chapter 5.45, automotive recyclable materials facilities, and, in urban areas, new facilities for servicing motor vehicles.

6.    Storage of heavy equipment and material is allowed outside only in activity areas.

E.    Home Businesses – Exempt.

1.    Home businesses that meet the standards in Section 40.260.100(D) and the following standards are exempt from review by the county:

a.    In urban areas:

(1)    No use of accessory structures for the home business;

(2)    Maximum of two (2) employees who come to the home business location, with one (1) parking space on-site for each nonresident employee;

(3)    No customers that come to the home business location;

(4)    No outside storage;

(5)    No heavy equipment; no more than one (1) home business-related vehicle;

(6)    No on-site retail sales.

b.    In rural areas:

(1)    Use of up to four hundred (400) square feet of an accessory structure;

(2)    Maximum of two (2) employees who come to the home business location, with one (1) parking space on-site for each nonresident employee;

(3)    No customers that come to the home business location;

(4)    No outside storage;

(5)    No heavy equipment; no more than one (1) home business-related vehicle;

(6)    No on-site retail sales.

2.    There is no minimum lot size for exempt home businesses.

3.    Two (2) or more exempt home businesses on the same parcel shall require a Type I or Type II permit if the combined features of each business exceed the exempt standards.

F.    Home Businesses – Minor.

1.    Home businesses that meet the standards in Section 40.260.100(D) and the following standards shall qualify as minor home businesses:

a.    In urban areas:

(1)    Use of up to four hundred (400) square feet of an accessory structure;

(2)    Maximum of two (2) nonresident employees who come to the home business location, with one (1) additional parking space on-site for each nonresident employee;

(3)    Customers: up to six (6) on-site customers per day;

(4)    No outside storage;

(5)    No heavy equipment; no more than one (1) home business-related vehicle;

(6)    Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for on-site businesses;

(7)    Incidental on-site retail sales only.

b.    In rural areas:

(1)    Use of up to one thousand (1,000) square feet of an accessory structure;

(2)    Maximum of three (3) nonresident employees who come to the home business location, with one (1) additional parking space on-site for each nonresident employee;

(3)    Customers: up to six (6) on-site customers per day;

(4)    No outside storage;

(5)    Vehicles/heavy equipment: no more than two (2) home business-related vehicles and two (2) pieces of heavy equipment;

(6)    Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for on-site businesses;

(7)    Incidental on-site retail sales only.

2.    Minor home businesses qualifying under this subsection shall be reviewed using a Type I process as specified in Section 40.510.010, except as specified in Section 40.260.100(F)(3). Should an operator of a minor home business expand operations in a manner that exceeds any of the performance standards in Section 40.260.100(F)(1), the operator shall obtain a major home business permit.

3.    Minor home businesses on a private road shall be reviewed using a Type II process to ensure that safety and maintenance impacts are adequately mitigated, unless evidence of mitigation of home business impacts on the private road through a neighbors agreement is provided at the time of application. For purposes of the agreement, ‘neighbors’ shall include all who are entitled to use the private road. Impacts to be addressed shall include, but are not limited to: dust, noise, trip generation, and road maintenance.

4.    There is no minimum lot size for minor home businesses.

5.    All structures used in home businesses shall be legally permitted at the time of receipt of a home business permit.

G.    Home Businesses – Major.

1.    Home businesses that meet the standards in Section 40.260.100(D) and the following standards shall qualify as major home businesses:

a.    In urban areas:

(1)    Use of up to nine hundred (900) square feet of an accessory structure;

(2)    Maximum of three (3) nonresident employees, with one (1) additional parking space on-site for each nonresident employee;

(3)    Customers: up to twelve (12) on-site customers per day;

(4)    No outside storage;

(5)    No heavy equipment; no more than three (3) business-related vehicles;

(6)    Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for on-site businesses;

(7)    Incidental on-site retail sales only;

(8)    Minimum lot size: ten thousand (10,000) square feet.

b.    In rural areas:

(1)    Accessory structures: see Table 40.260.100-1;

(2)    Employees: see Table 40.260.100-1, with one (1) additional parking space for each nonresident employee;

(3)    Customers: see Table 40.260.100-1;

(4)    Activity area, including outside storage: see Table 40.260.100-1;

(5)    Vehicles/heavy equipment: see Table 40.260.100-1;

(6)    Activity area: All outside activity must be located in a defined activity area that is visually screened from adjacent residences either by existing vegetation, terrain, or sight obscuring landscape/screening methods to at least an L3 standard as established in Section 40.320.010, and that is set back a minimum of fifty (50) feet from any property line. Except where terrain provides a sight-obscuring barrier, landscaping and screening shall be located on the subject property. Required landscaping and screening shall be the responsibility of the resident business owner;

(7)    Hours of operation: 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for on-site businesses;

(8)    Incidental retail sales only;

(9)    Minimum lot size: two and one-half (2.5) acres, including right-of-way to the extent permitted by Section 40.200.040(C) and/or de minimus standards set forth in Section 40.520.010(G). Calculations to determine eligible activity areas per Table 40.260.100-1 shall be determined based on lot sizes excluding public rights-of-way for perimeter streets.

2.    Subject to Section 40.520.020, major home businesses qualifying under this subsection shall be reviewed using a Type II process as specified in Section 40.510.020, demonstrating that the proposal complies with all development and performance criteria in this section.

3.    Applications for major home businesses on a private road shall include evidence that safety and maintenance impacts are adequately mitigated. Impacts to be addressed shall include, but are not limited to: dust, noise, trip generation, and road safety and maintenance.

4.    New rural home businesses that include facilities for servicing motor vehicles are considered major, and shall meet the following standards:

a.    An activity area of no more than two (2) percent of the parcel and landscaped and screened to an L3 standard (see Section 40.320.010);

b.    A maximum accessory structure size of one thousand five hundred (1,500) square feet; and

c.    Compliance with all building, fire, and environmental code regulations.

5.    All structures used in home businesses shall be legally permitted at the time of receipt of a home business permit.

(Amended: Ord. 2006-11-15; Ord. 2008-06-02; Ord. 2012-06-02)

H.    Performance Standards.

1.    Home-based businesses shall comply with all state and county regulations governing nuisance effects, including Chapter 9.24, Nuisances, and with the following standards:

a.    Noise. Home businesses shall comply with state maximum environmental noise levels as defined in Chapter 173-60 WAC.

b.    Odors, Lighting, Glare, Dust, Smoke and Vibration. Home businesses shall not cause external effects such as offensive odors, increased lighting or glare, dust, smoke, or vibration detectable to normal sensory perception at the property line.

c.    Electromagnetic Radiation and Line Fluctuation. Any business activities or use of equipment that creates visible or audible interference in radio or television receivers or fluctuations in line voltage at or beyond the property line is prohibited.

2.    Any use of hazardous material or disposal of hazardous waste by home-based businesses shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local regulations. Home businesses shall not discharge any liquids or gases in violation of any federal, state or county regulations, including such discharges into private septic systems.

3.    A home business permit shall be revoked pursuant to Chapter 32.12 should either of the following occur:

a.    An applicant/operator relocates his or her residence.

b.    The county finds that a home business has failed to comply with the general provisions and standards of this section or with the performance standards required by the permit.

Table 40.260.100-1. Rural Major Home Business Requirements

Lot size (acres)1

2.5 & < 5

5 & < 7.5

7.5 & < 10

10 & < 15

15 & < 20

20

Maximum allowable use of accessory structures (sq. ft.)2

2,500

3,000

3,500

4,000

4,500

5,000

Maximum number of nonresident employees3

4

4

4

6

6

6

Maximum activity area4

4,000 square feet

2% of parcel size

2% of parcel size

2% of parcel size

2% of parcel size

2% of parcel size

Maximum number of vehicles

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

Maximum number of trailers

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

Maximum number of pieces of heavy equipment

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

No limit5

Maximum average number of customer round trips per day

6

8

10

12

12

12

Footnotes:

1 Parcels in contiguous ownership may not be added together for purposes of determining parcel size.

2 ‘Accessory structure’ is defined in Section 40.100.070, and does not include an attached garage.

3 Includes contract employees and full-time employee equivalents.

4 As defined in Section 40.260.100(C)(4). Activity areas are to be calculated on the basis of lot sizes excluding public rights-of-way for perimeter streets.

5 Must be kept within the landscaped/screened activity area.

(Amended: Ord. 2004-06-10; Ord. 2006-11-15; Ord. 2007-11-13; Ord. 2008-06-02; Ord. 2012-07-03)