WHAT QUALIFIES FOR A HOME OCCUPATION?
If you wish to conduct a business from your home within the City of San Ramon, you must file for a Home Occupation Permit and City Business License. In order to be eligible for a Home Occupation Permit, you must be able to comply with the following:
- No clients will visit the residence
- The use is incidental to the residential use of the dwelling.
- The use is conducted within a portion of the main building, not within any required parking facility and does not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the building's square footage. No outside storage shall be permitted.
- No article shall be sold or offered for sale on the premise.
- No person other than the resident of the dwelling shall be employed on- site or report to work at the site in the conduct of the home occupation. This prohibition also applies to independent contractors.
- The use will not generate vehicular or pedestrian traffic in excess of that which is normally associated with the residential use in the same district.
- No parking space shall be obstructed and no additional parking space will be required for the home occupation
- There is no exterior indication of the home occupation, including signs.
- No motor vehicle repair or personal services shall be permitted on-site.
- The address of the home occupation will not be advertised in any publication. Business cards and letterhead are not included in this requirement
PLEASE NOTE: If your home business does not comply with or meet the requirements listed above, you will need to contact the Planning Services Division and speak with a Planner to determine whether a Minor Land Use Permit is necessary. For more information visit our FAQs webpage.
WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED IN OBTAINING A HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT:
Step 1: File Application/Application Fee
If you are able to meet the aforementioned conditions, you should file an application at Planning Services for a Home Occupation Permit (including a written description of your proposed business) along with a completed City Business License application and pay the required Home Occupation permit fee of $100. (Note: The property owner/managers signature is recommended on the application form if you are a renter.)
Step 2: Zoning Administrator (ZA) Review
Upon deeming an application complete, the Zoning Administrator (ZA) will determine the compatibility of the business with a residential neighborhood. If the business is determined appropriate based on the required operating performance standards of the Zoning Ordinance, the ZA will approve the application and sign-off on the business license to operate a home-based business. Alternatively, if the ZA determines that the business cannot meet the required operating performance standards of the Zoning Ordinance, then the HOP application may be denied. If the ZA deems necessary, he/she will require a public hearing for an application. All decisions by the ZA may be appealed to the Planning Commission. If a home occupation is not operated in compliance with the Zoning Ordinance regulations, the permit may be revoked by the ZA.
Step 3: Business License/Home Occupation Permit Approval
When your application is approved, you will receive a copy of the Conditions of Approval for your records. At this time your Business License application will be forwarded to the Finance Department. Your Business License will be mailed to you within ten (10) working days; you will be billed annually for the Business License renewal by the Finance Department. Typically, the processing time for the HOP and Business License is 2 weeks; additional time is required if a public hearing is requested.
Step 4: Website Posting
On a monthly basis, staff will post a list of all HOP applications that have been filed and approved in the previous month on the City’s website, and on City public notice boards. The notice would include the applicant’s name, business type, and location.
WHEN DOES THE HOME OCCUPATION PERMIT EXPIRE?
The Home Occupation Permit remains in effect as long as you meet all conditions set forth in the approved permit, and as long as you remain at the same location. Should you move and relocate within the City of San Ramon, you will be required to reapply for the Home Occupation Permit and Business License; then the process is repeated. The permit can be revoked if Staff finds that any conditions are not being met. A Business License will not be issued or renewed without a Home Occupation Permit approval.
WHAT OTHER ACTIONS ARE REQUIRED?
In some instances, a Building, Police, Fire Department, or Health Department permit is also required. Staff will advise you.
EXAMPLES OF HOME OCCUPATIONS ALLOWED
Examples of typical businesses which would be allowed by Home Occupation Permits might include typing or drafting services, and consulting businesses, provided all work is picked up and delivered to the client by you; landscape maintenance, janitorial services, and contractor businesses, where the business is conducted elsewhere and all equipment is either stored off-site and/or in a vehicle which is to be stored in the garage at the residence. Businesses such as jewelry making are allowed if the jewelry is sold off-site (i.e. flea market, retail store, etc.). Home boutiques are not allowed. Home Occupations also include those businesses in which only a telephone and mail services are used. Additionally, all business licenses must be issued to physical addresses only; a P.O. Box may be used, however, it may not be use as a substitution for a physical business address in order to bypass the Home Occupation Permit process.