I talked to my county Public Health Department, and everything was sounding SO good-- so possible-- costly, but what business venture isn't? At the end of our conversation, the woman I had been speaking with told me I needed to check to make sure the area I lived in was zoned properly to have a home bakery. In the back of my mind, I knew I needed to do that anyway, but I didn't really give it a ton of thought.
I called the Zoning Department, and the woman I spoke with told me that my area was only zoned for single family and duplexes, so I could not *likely* have a home bakery where I offer items for retail sale. She told me I could submit the paperwork and see, but she thought it would be denied; or I could try to rezone my home if I wanted, but then I would have to build my kitchen in my garage (since it would have to be in a separate structure than my home) instead of in my basement where I basically already have all the major hook ups installed! GRRR!). She also said that even if I tried to do that, there is no guarantee that it would be approved.
I'm so bummed...but I'm still trying. Has anyone had to rezone his/her property for his/her business? Does being commercially zoned negatively affect the value of the home, or those around it? Where should I go from here?
Edited: I spoke with my real estate agent, and she said rezoning my property as commercial would decrease the value of my home. Blah. DH will never go for that (and I would never expect him to- I wouldn't be okay with it either). She said I should call back and ask about doing a variance so I could have the bakery here legally while I live here, but the property would still be zoned as residential for the next owners. We're planning to move in 4-5 years when my DH is finished with his residency and fellowship, so this wouldn't be a terribly long lasting situation for my neighborhood.
i had to file for a varience to get licensed. (what a pain) it is supposed to be done every two years also. this year when i filed i asked for a permanent varience. (it was approved!
it cost 200 non refundable dollars regardless of the decision
i had to send a certified return receipt letter to every neighbor and a copy of each letter along with the signed receipts had to be brought to the meeting
now that it's over i'm glad it's done, however i can't move unless i want to start over.
i wish you luck
i'm in southern indiana
None of my neighbors cared if I did cakes so no problems there. The zoning board said they would accept my coupla thousand dollars to apply for a variance but that they never grant them. This is West Tennessee. Other parts of the state fare better for home cakers.
That really stinks, guys! I don't understand how zoning can be so different everywhere.
I would think that if the residential areas in my town weren't allowed to have an in home bakery there wouldn't be any here, but there are! So, what's different for me? The zoning woman sent me the paperwork (already got it today, yah!) and highlighted the area for S3 zoning- which is only for busy areas (I'm in S1- residential) that specifically says "bakeries." There's a HUGE list of things that are allowed on the S1 list- to include candy stores, but not candy making (okay...?)- but bakeries aren't on that list. I'm going to send the paperwork in anyhow, but is there something else I could call my little business to get around the "bakery" buzz word? I know I'm grabbing for straws here.
I also called back about applying for a variance. I was told that I can't apply for one though. She said I have to apply for permanent zoning for whatever type of zoning I actually want (so- I'd have to apply for commercial zoning), and they'll make the ultimate decision to offer me one if they feel a variance would be more appropriate. Grrr!
In the last town i lived i could have a home baking business, but i could not have a bakery where customers came to do pick-ups or I had a "store front" where they could walk in and buy things. So it was easy for me, everything delivered or we could meet halfway between.
You may want to check with the zoning dept and see if they would allow the business. Most are just trying to keep the traffic down in residential areas.
I hope this made some kind of sense, i'm a little out of it tonight but trying to give you some more ideas of how to do it.
WOW! I am on our cities Zoning Board of Adjustment and our fee to apply for a variance is only $25 total. They city does the mailing to the neighbors surrounding the subject property.
Here, you aren't technically suppose to run a business out of your home, but the city would only care or seek action if it was drawing a lot of traffic or taking up parking spaces.
If the city is going to require you to be zone for this I would do as Linda did and apply for variance. To help get it passed you may want to make one of the conditions be that in is only good for so long as you own the property.
Best of luck and let me know if you need any help!