Many home business entrepreneurs operate their businesses under the radar. They either do not know about zoning laws and its impact on their businesses, think that they are not covered by zoning laws, or simply do not care about such laws. Well, that’s fine — until the county busts you out and give you the ultimatum to change your business venue.
In this A/P story, a West Fargo N.D. couple is now fighting the local authorities in court to allow them to continue running their business from their home. They have been selling glasses for 15 years now from their basement, but was only recently flagged for violating zoning laws.
Why now, you ask? My best bet is the neighbors complains. The story actually mentions that
City officials found the Hamms in violation of subdivision ordinances covering the amount of space required, and neighbors have complained about parking and traffic problems.
For years possibly, the neighbors simply grumbled and tried to go about their business. Until someone felt obligated to complain about traffic and parking concerns brought about by the couple’s business.
Oftentimes, zoning officials and local authorities turn a blind eye when it comes to enforcing zoning laws — but not when someone in the neighborhood actually complains. Hence, it is strongly recommended that you first check the zoning laws in your area to determine if your business is compliant. And be very nice to your neighbors! Otherwise, you can see your entire business hampered, if not closed, if zoning regulators get to you.
And not only with your zoning officials! If you live in an apartment, condominium buildings or townhouse community, check if the association has any rules about operating a business from home. In one townhouse community in Virginia, they do not allow cars with any form of business advertisement (even just the website address!) to be parked overnight. Residents who ignored the rule found their cars towed the next morning!
Read our article “Does Your Home Business Comply with Zoning Laws?”
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