Chapter 20.75


20.75.000    Scope and purpose.

20.75.005    Permit required.

20.75.010    Notification and objections.

20.75.012    Home occupation – Prohibited business types.

20.75.015    Performance standards.

20.75.020    Conditions.

20.75.025    Compliance with other regulations.

20.75.030    Home occupations in newly annexed areas.

20.75.000 Scope and purpose.

This chapter is intended to conditionally permit limited commercial activities in residential zones provided that such activities do not significantly alter or detrimentally impact the lifestyle and character of residential neighborhoods. (Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.005 Permit required.

Unless exempted from permit requirements by provisions of this section, no home occupation shall be established on any RS-, RM-, PDR-, or PDC-zoned property unless a home occupation permit for such home occupation has been approved by the community development director, or hearing examiner upon objection, and is in full force and effect pursuant to this chapter. Said permit shall be renewed annually commensurate with annual renewal of city business licenses as provided for in PMC Title 5. Those home occupations which meet the following criteria, in addition to meeting the performance standards cited in PMC 20.75.015, shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this section:

(1) The home occupation may not be visible from the outside of the house or accessory residential structure.

(2) No outside display or storage of materials, merchandise or equipment is permitted.

(3) No vehicle trips associated with customers or clients visiting the premises will be generated by the home occupation.

(4) No signage related to the home occupation is permitted.

(5) Materials, goods or commodities shall be delivered to or from the home occupation only between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

(6) Home occupations may be established in residences located in C, O or M zones without a permit. Such home occupations shall be considered commercial uses for purposes of requiring off-street parking and any other applicable development standards. (Ord. 2615 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2573 § 1, 1998; Ord. 2393 § 1, 1994; Ord. 2268 § 47, 1991; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.010 Notification and objections.

Within 28 calendar days of receiving an application for such permit, the director shall determine if the application is complete and follow the procedures set forth in PMC 20.11.006. Once the application is determined to be complete and complies with the required performance standards as contained in PMC 20.75.015 and any other applicable sections of this title, the planning and community development director shall notify by mail the applicant and all owners of property lying within 150 feet of the property for which the permit is requested informing them of the requested permit and the city’s initial determination to issue the permit (including any permit conditions, if applicable). If a written objection to issuance of the permit is filed by any such property owner or by the applicant within 10 business days of said notification, the director shall reconsider the initial determination in light of the objection(s) as raised and render a final decision on the permit. This final decision shall result in either the director’s concurrence with original determination of permit approval, the approval of the permit with additional conditions, or the denial of the permit.

Upon completion of the director’s reconsideration, all parties notified of the initial determination shall receive notification of the director’s final decision. Any such party aggrieved by the director’s final decision may file an appeal of that decision to the hearing examiner. Such appeals for hearing examiner review must be filed within 10 business days from the date the written decision was made and shall include the following:

(1) The appeal shall be filed on forms provided by the director.

(2) The appeal shall clearly state the decision being appealed, setting forth the specific reason, rationale, and/or basis for the appeal.

(3) Fees associated with such appeals shall be paid to the city upon filing of the appeal in accordance with a fee schedule established by resolution.

Upon filing of a timely and complete appeal, the hearing examiner shall conduct a public hearing into the merits of the appeal. This hearing shall be subject to the noticing and public hearing requirements set forth in Chapter 20.12 PMC, and shall include a notification of all parties notified of the director’s final decision. The hearing examiner may affirm, modify or deny the director’s decision or may remand the matter to the director for further review in accord with the examiner’s direction.

If no written objection is filed to the initial determination of impending permit issuance, the director shall render a final decision on the permit in accord with the initial determination. (Ord. 2478 § 1, 1996; Ord. 2316 § 1, 1992; Ord. 2268 § 48, 1991; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.012 Home occupation – Prohibited business types.

(1) No home occupation shall involve automobile repair, body work, upholstering or similar automobile-related activity; and

(2) Any business that cannot meet the performance standards of PMC 20.75.015(2), including businesses that store and display materials or retail items in an exterior location for sale in conjunction with the home occupation. Produce stands are permitted as a temporary use, pursuant to PMC 20.70.0161, and are not subject to home occupation permit requirements. (Ord. 3119 § 61, 2016).

20.75.015 Performance standards.

All home occupations shall be subject to the following performance standards:

(1) A home occupation shall be conducted in a dwelling or accessory building and shall be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the structure(s) and property as primarily residential. No such home occupation shall occupy a floor area greater than 25 percent of the total enclosed floor area of the structures on the property. Retail sales of items not produced on the premises shall be allowed only if clearly incidental to the primary function of the home occupation. Urban agriculture activities meeting the criteria of PMC 20.20.010 or 20.25.010 are exempt from this standard.

(2) In no way shall the appearance of the structure or premises and properties be so altered, or the conduct of the occupation within the structure be such that the structure or premises may be reasonably recognized as serving the home occupation. Such alteration or conduct shall include but not be limited to color, materials, construction, lighting, signs, sounds, noises, storage of construction equipment, vehicle parking areas, radio or television interference, vibrations, smoke, odors, and/or display of equipment or materials; provided, that this subsection shall not preclude the placement of one nameplate, mounted flush against the wall of the residence, stating the name of the home occupation. Urban agriculture activities meeting the criteria of PMC 20.20.010 or 20.25.010 are exempt from this standard.

(3) Employees who do not reside at the location of the home occupation may be allowed to work at the home occupation; vehicular trips associated with employees entering and leaving the site for employment shall count toward the maximum trips allowed by this section.

(4) No motor or mechanical equipment shall be permitted other than that normally incidental to the use of the structure as a dwelling, nor shall any home occupation involve the use of commercial vehicles, other than those owned by the occupant for the delivery of products or materials to or from the premises, except that no such vehicle shall exceed one ton in capacity.

(5) No home occupation shall result in the use of utilities or the generation of traffic by the property beyond what is normal and typical to a residential use, and therefore shall be exempt from payment of traffic impact fees. Visitor traffic to the property shall not exceed the following formula:

V = A x S x Z


V = The maximum number of visitor vehicle trips per day generated by the home occupation. In no event shall this number exceed 20 vehicle trips per day or four trips per peak hour. Where this number equals an odd number or a fraction it shall be rounded to the lesser even integer. (Each trip coming to and each trip leaving from the property is considered to be a single vehicle trip, so that each visitor to the home occupation would typically generate two vehicle trips).

A = The acreage of the property containing the home occupation.

S = The street classification index for the type of street, as designated by the Puyallup comprehensive plan, from which the home occupation is accessed. Said index shall follow the following schedule:

Local streets     = 16

Collector streets     = 19

Minor arterial streets     = 22

Principal arterial streets     = 25

Special purpose streets     = 22

Z = The coefficient for the zoning district which applies to the property. Said coefficient shall follow the following schedule:

RS-35    = 0.5

RS-10    = 1.5

RS-08    = 2.0

RS-06    = 2.0

RS-04     = 2.0

RM-10    = 2.5

RM-20    = 3.0

PDR    = 2.0

PCD    = 2.0

Further, in no event shall such visitor traffic exceed the capacity of the property and adjacent rights-of-way to provide parking space for such vehicles in the manner which is consistent with the intent of subsection (2) of this section. Home occupations are not subject to the parking requirements set forth in Chapter 20.55 PMC. (Ord. 3156 § 1, 2017; Ord. 3119 § 62, 2016; Ord. 3073 § 34, 2014; Ord. 2615 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.020 Conditions.

The community development director or the hearing examiner may, in the issuance and/or renewal of any home occupation permit, apply conditions or special requirements deemed necessary in order to ensure that such home occupation complies with the performance standards and intent of this chapter. (Ord. 2615 § 1, 1999; Ord. 2268 § 48, 1991; Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.025 Compliance with other regulations.

All home occupations shall be subject to all licenses, regulations and inspections required by any business conducted in the city. (Ord. 2147 Exh. A, 1987).

20.75.030 Home occupations in newly annexed areas.

Pre-existing home occupations, including those receiving administrative “acknowledgements” from Pierce County, shall be subject to all requirements of this section, including permitting.

Those pre-existing home occupations formally permitted as “cottage industries” by Pierce County may remain as pre-existing uses, however, they may not enlarge or intensify in any way unless lawfully permitted by the city. (Ord. 2615 § 1, 1999).


Code reviser’s note: This cross-reference has been changed from 20.75.016 to 20.70.016 for accuracy.