After City Council adopted a new ordinance changing zoning laws last month (the vote was 6-2), it’s now easier than ever for Raleighites to open a business in their homes. The ordinance goes into effect on Mon., Sept. 5 (90 days after the text change was approved).
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or a curious neighbor, we’re here to walk you through what this means.
Here’s what you need to know about the new rules:
- Now, you don’t have to go through the city’s Board of Adjustment for a special-use permit. This cuts down on the time + money needed to open your business.
- A city staff-issued permit is required instead.
- If approved, your home will be identified as an Accessory Commercial Unit. ACU’s are businesses located on the same property as a residence.
- Hours of operation must be between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- At least one person must occupy the home as their primary place of residence.
- You can employ up to two people not living on the premises.
- No more than five customers can visit at one time.
- Drive-thrus, outdoor seating, and outdoor storage are prohibited.
- Retail and food sales, dry-cleaning, funeral homes and parlors, crematoriums, and wedding chapels are not allowed.
Examples of approved business types
View the full list here (page three).
- Dance and music studios
- Sports academies
- Clothing manufacturing
- Hair salons
- Tattoo parlors
- Production of artwork and toys
- Graphic design
- Repair shop
A note for neighbors
If Mr. Jones is setting up a martial arts studio next door, you’ll know. The ordinance requires that neighbors be notified when someone applies to open a business in their home.