What are the zoning codes for a home-based business?

Nina L. Kaufman, Esq.

An award-winning small business attorney in New York City, Nina is a sought-after professional speaker and Entrepreneur Magazine online contributor. She is the go-to counsel for knowledge economy and creative companies, delivering legal services and educational resources that save them time, money, and aggravation.

Posted on September 8, 2014 in Form a Company

Q.:  I contacted my local zoning department about the zoning codes for starting a home based handbag business. I was told that I would have to fill out an application for a traffic impact study to comply with zoning codes. What is that, and do I really need one for a business that won’t increase the traffic in my neighborhood?


A.:  Under local zoning codes, government agencies typically require a traffic study when there is controversy with a neighborhood group about your project, or when your development needs to go through an environmental review process.  Normally, a traffic impact study is conducted whenever a proposed development will generate 100 or more added (new) trips during the adjacent roadways’ peak hour or the development’s peak hour.

It’s not clear why a home handbag business would generate that kind of traffic, but perhaps the way you conveyed the business gave the agency the impression that you had a far more industrial operation in mind.  Speak to a local business attorney who is familiar with the zoning codes as he/she may know of an exception to the local rule on traffic studies.


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