This summarizes the regulations of the Sonoma County zoning ordinance for home occupations. A home occupation is a small-scale business conducted out of a private residence or residential accessory structure. Home occupations must be secondary to the residential use of the site, and must meet certain standards to ensure compatibility with surrounding residential uses. Home occupations differ from live/work uses in that they do not permit any non-resident employees, and are more limited in the type of uses permitted and the number of visitors allowed. A home business which does not meet one or more of the standards below may still be allowed with a use permit as a live/work use.
Home occupations may be conducted in homes in agricultural and residential zoning districts (LIA, LEA, DA, RRD, RRDWA, AR, RR, R1, R2 and R3), the Planned Community zoning district (PC), and commercial zoning districts that permit residential uses (CO, C1, C2, C3, LC, RC, AS, and K). Home occupations that comply with the standards and regulations of the code are considered to remain a Group R, Division 3 Occupancy (per California Building Code) if they take place within a single family dwelling, guest house or other habitable structure and a Group U Occupancy (per California Building Code) if they take place within a residential garage, residential storage building or other non-habitable structure. A zoning permit is required for all home occupations. Each applicant must sign a home occupation affidavit which is an acknowledgment agreeing to comply with the home occupation standards.