Shawnee County Planning Department

Enforcement Support Development.

Home Use Occupation

Purpose of Regulation

The Shawnee County Zoning Regulations permit residents the conduct of a business from their home. As an accessory use, the standards for home occupations are intended to seek a balance between supporting a quiet, safe, and aesthetic community environment while supporting the aspirations of home-based entrepreneurs. Business activities, which do not meet the standards for a home occupation, must locate in commercial or industrial areas. It needs to be remembered that the main use of your home must be residential. Your home business is considered an accessory use and must function in a manner that is not noticeable or offensive to area property.

Definition of Home Occupation

A home occupation is defined as a business conducted as an accessory use within a dwelling unit; which uses a residential address and does not need a separate commercial address; which primarily involves the use of the home address and telephone for business contacts; which may be conducted within a residential dwelling without in any way changing the appearance or conditions of the residence and neighborhood, subject to the standards found in the Shawnee County Zoning Regulations.

Home Occupation Standards

Home occupations are acceptable accessory use activities provided they do not detract from the character of the neighborhood in which located and will not cause excessive traffic, nuisance or hazards to safety.

  1. Standards: Home occupations shall comply with all of the following standards as per Sec. 29.02(a)(9) of the Shawnee County Zoning Regulations:
    1. Limitation to Resident(s). The use or activity shall be carried on by a resident of the dwelling. A home occupation permit may be issued to a tenant or occupant of the dwelling who is to be engaged in the accessory use or activity, provided the owner(s) of record of the property have endorsed and/or certified the application.
    2. Employees. Not more than one (1) employee, not a resident of the dwelling, is permitted.
    3. Appearance. The exterior of the dwelling shall not be changed or modified in any way, nor shall any exterior signs be erected that will indicate any accessory use of the property nor adversely effect the residential character of the neighborhood.
    4. Site Sales. The sale of any commodity, goods or products on the premises is prohibited.
    5. Limitation to Principal Building. All equipment, materials and work in progress shall be confined to the principal dwelling, exclusive of an attached garage. By extension, this prohibition also applies to detached accessory buildings.
    6. Nuisances. The projection of any obnoxious sound, odor, smoke, vibration, light or dust is prohibited.
    7. Area of Use. The home occupation shall not occupy more than 25% of the total floor area (including basement) of the dwelling, exclusive of an attached garage.
    8. Hours of Operation. The home occupation shall not be available or open to the public except during the hours between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm.
    9. Traffic and Utilities. The home occupation shall not create a need for off-street parking, pedestrian and vehicular traffic, sanitary sewer and storm sewer usage, public water usage as well as other services in excess of the normal and usual levels for other residential dwellings.
    10. Multiple Occupations. Only one (1) accessory use or activity shall be carried on in a dwelling during the period authorized by a home occupation permit.
  2. Prohibited Uses: Based upon the standards of Sec. 29.02(a)(9)a. of the Shawnee County Zoning Regulations, the following uses, among others, are automatically excluded as a home occupation:
    1. Repair of automobiles, including body and fender work, trailers, campers, boats, machinery, etc., not registered to the address of the home occupation shall be presumed to be done for compensation, thus resulting in a violation.
    2. Repair and service of appliances, lawn mowers, bicycles, etc.
    3. Tooling, welding, or machine shop.
    4. Service trades where automobile or truck fleets are customary to the conduct of the business.
    5. Construction trades where office or business activities associated with the conduct of the business are conducted on the premises.
    6. Repair, manufacturing and processing uses; however, this shall not exclude the home occupation of a dressmaker or tailor where goods are not manufactured for stock, sale or distribution.
    7. Retail sales of items to the general public from the property. However, an office use which includes sales of items shipped directly to customers is permitted.

Permit Requirements

It is advised that anyone wanting to conduct a home-based business contact the Shawnee County Planning Department before proceeding with your business plans. Planning Department staff would be happy to discuss your home occupation with you to ensure that it complies with current county regulations.

To insure compliance with the requirements of the Shawnee County Zoning Regulations, a permit is required to conduct an accessory home occupation from a residential dwelling in unincorporated Shawnee County. No home occupation shall be established without first obtaining a home occupation permit from the Shawnee County Planning Department.

A complete home occupation permit application shall consist of the following:

  • Application Form: Application for a home occupation permit shall be on forms provided by the Shawnee County Planning Department.
  • Filing Fee: All applications for a home occupation permit must be accompanied by a $50.00 filing fee made payable to the Shawnee County Treasurer. An annual renewal fee of $10.00, due by January 31st for each subsequent year, shall be required thereafter. The filing/renewal fee is non-refundable and/or transferable.
  • Plan of Business: Application for a home occupation and annual renewals, shall include a plan of business which shall include the following information:
    1. The name of the business;
    2. The type and nature of home business proposed (please explain business activities proposed at the site);
    3. Days and hours of operation;
    4. The average and maximum number of customers/clients per day/week;
    5. The average and maximum number of business deliveries (incoming/outgoing) per day/week;
    6. The number and type of vehicles to be used in conjunction with the business and location of vehicle parking;
    7. Identification of individuals involved with the home occupation, including address and relationship to principal residents;
    8. Total square footage of home exclusive of attached garage;
    9. Proposed room/location of occupation within the home, square footage of said room/location, and, percentage of total square footage of home;
    10. Indicate whether there will be any bulk storage of supplies, materials, equipment, etc. associated with the home occupation, the quantity of such, and, the location of such storage;
    11. Identify utility services used in conjunction with the home occupation (e.g. telephone, gas, electricity, water, sewer, etc.) and whether additional service is required beyond that currently provided to the residence;
    12. Identify whether the home occupation will generate any sound, odor, smoke, vibration, light or dust in conjunction with the operation perceptible beyond any property line;
    13. Indicate that no other home occupation will be conducted at the same time as the home occupation sought for; and,
    14. Provide any other information deemed relevant to understand the scope of the home occupation and its compliance with the standards of Sec. 29.01(a)(9)a.

Approval of an application for a home occupation permit shall be conditioned upon compliance with the plan of business and such other conditions imposed by the Planning Department.

  • House Plan: A home occupation permit application must be accompanied by an accurately drawn house plan that represents the size and dimensions of the house, and, location and size of room/area including the home occupation.

Permit Process

  • Application. Prior to the establishment of any accessory use or activity defined as a home occupation, the owner(s) of the subject property shall make application to the Shawnee County Planning Department for a home occupation permit. In making application, the applicant shall indicate compliance with the standards governing home occupations. The Shawnee County Zoning Administrator is responsible for reviewing all applications for home occupation permits.
  • Review and Approval. At such time the zoning administrator determines the proposed accessory use or activity qualifies as a legitimate home occupation and conforms to all applicable standards, a home occupation permit shall be issued. The zoning administrator shall have the authority to specify conditions, requirements and the duration of said permit. If the zoning administrator believes the proposal will not comply with the applicable standards, the zoning administrator shall notify the applicant of the changes necessary to achieve compliance.
  • Compliance with Other Jurisdictional Requirements. Home occupations must comply with all other local, state or federal regulations for the activity desired. Meeting the requirements of home occupations does not constitute an exemption from other regulations.
  • Assignment of Permit. Home occupation permits shall be granted to a designated person who resides at the residential address. A permit may be issued to a tenant or occupant of a dwelling who is engaged in the accessory home occupation provided the owner(s) of record have endorsed and/or certified the application. A home occupation permit is not transferable from person to person or assignable from address to address. Should a home occupation permit holder die or move to a new location, the existing permit shall be automatically terminated, except that, in the case of death, the surviving spouse or children residing at the same address may continue the permit upon written notice to the zoning administrator.
  • Permit Displayed. Upon approval, the home occupation permit shall be displayed within the interior of the dwelling, at the location of the proposed activity, and is valid until the end of the calendar year.
  • Proposed Changes. After a home occupation permit has been granted, if the permit holder wishes to make changes in the conduct of the business that departs from the description in the application or from any other standards imposed by the permit, the permit holder must obtain prior permission of the Planning Department on the basis of a new application.
  • Renewal. All approved home occupation permits shall be granted for a calendar year and shall automatically expire on December 31st of the year issued unless a renewal is sought and granted. Requests must be filed by January 31st of the following year to be considered for renewal. The applicant will be responsible to certify that the home occupation and conditions of approval have not changed from the original approved permit. If the zoning administrator determines that the home occupation continues to operate in compliance with the permit as originally issued, the permit shall be renewed, effective until December 31st of the renewing year. If the permit holder fails to initiate renewal by January 31st, the permit shall automatically expire and the applicant will need to seek a new home occupation permit.
  • Enforcement. The enforcement and administration of the regulations governing home occupations rests with the zoning administrator. Upon a finding that any conditions, standards or requirements of a home occupation permit have not been complied with, the zoning administrator shall consider the home occupation permit invalid and shall order the use therein to be terminated. In the event of a revocation, one (1) year shall elapse prior to an application being considered by the same owner of the same residential address.
  • Inspection. Home occupation applicants and permit holders shall permit a reasonable inspection of the premises by the zoning administrator to determine compliance. Failure to allow periodic inspections by the zoning administrator at any reasonable time shall result in the immediate revocation of the home occupation permit.