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July 05, 2017 11:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

If you are contemplating carrying on a business from your home in Richmond/Knob Hill you will require land use approval, either a home occupation : class 1 or a home occupation : class 2.

The basic rule for a home occupation - class 1 is that the home-based business must not be visible from outside the home. The business must be conducted in the home by a resident and have minimal impact on the surrounding neighbourhood. If your business follows the rules, this application is approved and issued instantly. A home occupation - class 1 clearance form specifies the rules you must follow and is valid for as long as you operate that business from the same location. Some examples of home-based businesses that may fit under a home occupation - class 1 are desk and telephone occupations, web-based businesses or a consultant's office.

General rules for home occupations - class 1:

  • You must live in the home associated with the home occupation.
  • Only two home occupation - class 1 businesses are allowed at the home.
  • Businesses can use up to 20 per cent of the floor area of the home or 30 square metres, whichever is less.
  • A garage cannot be used for the business.
  • No outside storage of material, goods or equipment can be on or near the site.
  • Businesses cannot be visible from the outside.
  • Businesses cannot create any kind of nuisance detectable from outside the home (electronic interference, dust, noise, odour, smoke, bright light or anything of an objectionable nature).
  • Employees and business partners cannot work at the home, if they do not live at the home.
  • No more than three visits per week by clients, staff or couriers to the home.
  • No more than one vehicle associated with the business can be parked at or near the home (maximum 4536 kilograms gross vehicle weight).
  • You cannot directly sell goods at the home, unless they are incidental and related to the service provided by the business.
  • No form of advertising related to the business is allowed on the site.
  • The address of the home occupation cannot be advertised to the public.

If you cannot comply with the above rules, you may qualify for a development permit for a home occupation - class 2.  This approval allows for more flexibility and has specific conditions attached. Before receiving this permit, a sign will be placed on the property to inform neighbours of the proposed use, and the approved permit will be published in the local newspaper.  Home occupation – class 2 development permits are approved on a temporary basis, with the length of the approval determined before the permit is released.  Some examples of home-based businesses that may fit under the home occupation - class 2 rules are hairdressers, music teachers and a consultant's office (more than three visits per week).

General rules for home occupations - class 2:

Same as for class 1 but with a few differences including:

  • Only one home occupation - class 2 business is allowed at the home.
  • A garage may be used for the business, provided it can still be used to park a vehicle.
  • The business cannot generate traffic to and from the home that is uncharacteristic of the neighbourhood.
  • A maximum of 1 employee or business partner working at the home who does not live at the home.
  • A minimum of one parking stall is required for the business, in addition to the motor vehicle parking stalls already required for the home.
  • A maximum of 5 business-associated vehicle visits per day and a maximum of 15 visits per week.

In addition to land use approval, some home-based businesses also require business licensing. Visit calgary.ca/mybusiness for licence types and the required approvals.

Some homes in Richmond/Knob Hill have one or more restrictive covenants registered against the title, and in some cases those restrictive covenants include a provision prohibiting any business from being carried on from the home.  Accordingly, before starting a home-based business it would also be a good idea to check your title to see if any such restriction applies to your home.

RKHCA Development Committee

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