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Home-Based Business

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An Administrative Use Permit (AUP) and Business License are required for all home-based occupations. In addition to the AUP application for home-based businesses (PDF), you may also need to provide supplemental information, statements, and/or forms for your specific business as determined by the planning staff and other supporting agencies. As covered in Section 35.270 of the Hercules Zoning Ordinance, home occupations are subject to the following rules and regulations:

  1. The home occupation shall be compatible with and secondary to the use of the premises as a residential dwelling unit. The area devoted to a home occupation shall occupy no more than one room or the equivalent of 20 percent of the gross floor area of the dwelling unit, whichever is greater;

  2. Home occupations conducted within a garage shall not eliminate or change the use of required off-street parking spaces;

  3. Employment shall be restricted to the dwelling unit residents except where the Community Development Director allows one non-resident employee, provided the following findings can be made:
  4. A. The employee works under the direction of the dwelling resident and is not an independent or separate business enterprise;

    B. The employee is necessary to the performance of the home occupation;

    C. The employee would not require the use of the required parking for the residence or create on-street parking problems in the neighborhood;

    D. The average residential neighbor would not be aware of the existence of the home occupation, under normal circumstances;

  5. No exterior operation of any home occupation is permitted;

  6. The home occupation shall not generate pedestrian or vehicular traffic beyond that which is normal to the surrounding area, and shall not involve the use of vehicles with 6 or more wheels for service, pickup, or delivery.

  7. Articles offered for sale in a home occupation shall be limited to those produced on the premises, except where the person conducting the home occupation serves as an agent or intermediary between off-site suppliers and off-site customers, in which case all articles, except for samples, shall be received, stored, and sold directly to customers, at off-premise locations;

  8. No outside display or window shall display material or products; no outside sign or window sign shall advertise or otherwise identify the home occupation except for one non-moving and non-illuminated sign attached to the residence with a display surface of not more than one square foot on any face. No commercial or passenger vehicle carrying any sign advertising or identifying the home occupation shall be regularly parked on any portion of the lot where such sign is visible or at or near any lot line of the lot containing the home occupation;

  9. No home occupation shall be permitted which involves:
  10. A. The assembly of employees, workers, subcontractors, or equipment for offsite work.

    B. The storage of equipment, vehicles, or supplies outside of the dwelling or any accessory structure.

    C. The care, treatment, or boarding of animals for profit.

    D. The operation of any service or sales of goods that noticeably increases vehicle traffic in the neighborhood.

    E. The teaching of organized classes totaling four or more persons at any one time.

    F. The repair, service, or rehabilitation of more than one vehicle at a time including storage and parking on the lot or street as consistent with requirements on vehicle repair as Section 4-10.03 (t) & (v) of the Municipal Code.

    G. The storage of toxic or hazardous materials.

  11. No home occupation shall create noise, odor, electrical disturbances, dust, vibrations, fumes, or smoke readily discernible at the exterior boundaries of the parcel on which it is situated.

  12. No raw materials, intermediate or finished materials, by-products, appliances, or tools of the home occupation shall be stored outdoors.

  13. The home occupation shall dispose of all waste materials or by-products on a regular, timely basis in conformance with applicable garbage collection, fire protection, and public health regulations.

  14. The home occupation shall not use more than one motor vehicle which shall not exceed ¾ ton in size, shall be owned and operated by the resident of the dwelling, and shall be parked in an adequate offstreet parking area.

Download the application for home-based businesses (PDF)

Once complete and submitted to the Planning Department, please allow up to 30 days to process the entire permit and license. Process includes a 10-day public notice period (notification sent to all property owners within 300 feet of the proposed business). For more information, please contact the Planning Department.

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