Everett Looks To Loosen Restrictions On Home Based Businesses

August 19, 2021

Everett Government

Wednesday night the Everett City Council got a briefing on plans to make it easier to operate a home based business within the city limits of Everett, Washington. The City of Everett Planning Commission has been working on this for some time and has approved the updates to the ordinance and is asking the Everett City Council for approval. A public hearing and vote on the matter is expected on September 1st. Below are some of the most significant rule changes as presented to the City Council in the briefing documents.

Home occupations are permitted in any dwelling provided the home occupations comply with the requirements in this subsection.
A. Any person engaging in a home occupation shall register as a business with the city clerk’s office and shall be subject to the city business and occupations tax.

B. Home occupations shall comply with all other local, state, and federal regulations pertinent to the activity pursued, and the requirements of or permission granted by this section shall not be construed as an exemption from such regulations.

C. The home occupation shall be secondary to the residential use of the property;

D. The home occupation shall be carried on entirely within a dwelling or accessory building by the occupant thereof and employees as allowed in this subsection;

E. The home occupation shall be conducted in such a manner as to give no outward appearance of a business, affect the appearance of the building(s) as a residence, nor manifest any characteristics of a business;

F. No noise, vibration, dust, smoke, light, glare, or odor shall be emitted other than is commonly associated with a residential use. The maximum permissible noise levels of Noise Control District I applies to all home occupations;

G. The home occupation shall be fully enclosed within the residence or accessory building with no outside storage of equipment or materials allowed;

H. No stock in trade shall be displayed on the premises;

I. Signage is prohibited in accordance with EMC 19.36.030(A)(13) for residential zones;

J. Prohibited home occupations include, but are not limited to:

  • 1. Veterinary clinic,
  • 2. Automobile or other vehicle sales, service, fueling, body repair and painting, or commercial parking,
  • 3. Wedding or event venues;
  • 4. Adult retail or adult use business
  • 5.Any home occupation of a nature which is similar to those listed in this subsection 19.05.067.J or which creates impacts on surrounding properties which are similar to those created by the uses listed herein;
    K. No more than two people other than residents of the dwelling may work on the property at any time;

    L. If the home occupation is the type in which classes are held or instruction is given, not more than five students are allowed in any one class or instruction period and not more than ten students are allowed on the property on any day;

    M. If the home occupation is the type with client or customer visits, not more than two clients or customers are allowed on the property at any time, and not more than ten clients or customers are allowed on the property on any day;

    N. Employees shall only be allowed to work, and students, customers, and clients shall only be allowed to do business on the property from eight o’clock a.m. to six o’clock p.m. on weekdays or from nine o’clock a.m. to five o’clock p.m. on weekends and holidays;

    O. The number of business vehicles is limited to two;

    P. Parking of any vehicles associated with the home occupation shall use legal on-site or off-site parking spaces and shall comply with the provisions of EMC 19.34.105;

    Q. No receipt or delivery of products shall be permitted except as is commonly associated with residential use. The gross vehicle weight of delivery vehicles shall not exceed eighteen thousand pounds;

    R. Garage Sales shall not be considered a home occupation and are subject to the limitations in EMC 19.05.068.H.1

    Again this is a first draft and some of the rules may be tweaked. The public hearing is set for September 1st prior to the City Council vote. Here is a link to the full council briefing that also has a great side-by-side comparison of existing and proposed regulations. Some council members expressed concern over retail sales being allowed in a home-based business. There is also concern over unintended consequences of the ordinance. People who make their homes in apartments, condos, duplexes and townhouses would need to be able to also participate in order to ensure equity and their ability to compete with single family homes that provide the same services.

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    My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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