Currently there are two types of home occupation applications. Class 1 Home Occupations strictly allow for telephone/desk type operations, while a Class 2 Home Occupation allows for more intensive operations that also consider the potential impact on the local neighbourhood leading to additional review times and application fees for customers. If a business owner with a Class 1 license wishes to make changes to their operations such as using their garage for storage, they are required to apply for a Class 2 license which is an additional cost and time to get approved.
Allowing for more options in the Class 1 licensing would help out small business owners get approval without having to change their classification.
Status: Not feasible
The City explored combining Development Permit and Business License applications. The Class 2 Home Occupation permit currently assesses the impact a home-based business has on the surrounding neighbourhood. It factors in noise, odour concerns, the amount of parking required, the loss of privacy and the impact of additional traffic into the neighbourhood. Permanent conditions outlined in the Development Permit are meant to minimize the negative impacts on the residential neighbourhood. Furthermore there are many different types of business licenses that could accommodate a home-based business.
Examples of proposed Class 2 Home Occupations include: sound recording studio, fitness classes, personal training, small-scale equipment repair (e.g grinding of metal), woodworking, cat kennels, and bird breeding. Unfortunately due the varying needs of home-based businesses, simplifying the application process would be very challenging. Without individual assessments conducted by both the Development Authority and Business Licensing, potential community impacts may be overlooked.
After significant exploration, it was determined each application requires a Development Permit and Business license so that the unique needs of the Home-based business can be considered. Due to these reasons, this idea is deemed not feasible.