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Home-Based Businesses

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Section 5.3.4 of Cary's Land Development Ordinance (LDO) governs businesses operated in residential areas.  Please note some Homeowners Associations (HOA) may prohibit home based businesses and home day cares.  It is your responsibility to check with your HOA to ensure home-based businesses and home day cares are permitted. 

 

Home-Based Businesses 

Home-based businesses are broken down into Type I and Type II Home Occupations.  Type I Home Occupations involve administrative support for the rendering of a service off-site in exchange for monetary fees or other remuneration, and are permitted in all residential zoning districts.  Type I home occupation may occupy up to twenty (20) percent of the heated floor area of the residence, or five hundred (500) square feet, whichever is less and do not require approval by the Town provided they comply with the following: 

  • No customers or clients visit the home.
  • No employees living outside the home are physically employed at the residence.
  • No delivery of goods or materials to the home is required in connection with the business.
  • No material goods or products are produced, stored, or manufactured at the residence. 

Type II Home Occupations are permitted in all residential zoning districts and consist of home based businesses that do not qualify as a Type I Home Occupation.  Prior to establishing a Type II home occupation, the operator shall obtain an  Accessory Use Permit (Home Occupation). Type II home occupation may occupy up to ten (10) percent of the heated floor area of the residence, or five hundred (500) square feet, whichever and must demonstrate compliance with the following:

  • Employs no more than one person who does not reside on the premises.
  • Causes no change in the external appearance of the existing buildings on the property.
  • Provides sufficient off-street parking (outside the front setback) for patrons of the home occupation in addition to the space or spaces required for the dwelling itself.
  • Except in the Town Center, displays no advertising devices on the property. 
  • Contains no outdoor display or storage associated with the home occupation.
  • Wholesale or retail sales of goods do not occur on the premises.
  • Does not create traffic or parking congestion, noise, vibration, odor, glare,  or fumes.

 In-Home Day Cares 

In-home day cares are categorized into small and large.  A Small In-Home Day Cares is intended for the care of up to six (6) children not related to the care provider by birth, marriage, or adoption at any given time; or up to to three (3) adults eighteen (18) years old or older.  Small in-home day cares require approval of an Accessory Use Permit (Small Home Day Care) and are permitted in all residential zoning districts provided that all the following provisions are met:

  • Provide no less than three (3) onsite parking spaces plus one additional space if there is an employee that does not reside in the residence.
  • The principal person or persons operating the day care home must reside on the premises.
  • Employs no more than one (1) person who does not reside on the premises.
  • No signage associated with the home occupation is allowed.
  • A building inspection is required prior to the issuance of the Accessory Use Permit - Contact Inspections and Permits Department, (919) 469-4043.
  • A License from NC Department of Health and Human Services may be required - Contact DHHS, (919) 362-9675.
  • Proof of property owner’s approval is required if the daycare provider is not the owner of the property.

A Large In-Home Day Care is intended for the care of seven (7) to twelve (12) children not related to the care provider by birth, marriage, or adoption at any given time; or four (4) to six (6) adults eighteen (18) years old or older.  Large in-home day cares may be permitted as a Special Use in any single-family residential dwelling unit on lots which are twelve thousand (12,000) square feet or greater in size provided that all the following provisions are met:

  • The home shall be reviewed and approved as a Special Use.
  • No building modifications may be made to the structure to accommodate the use except those required by the Building Code.
  • Provide a minimum of four (4) onsite parking spaces plus one additional space if there is an employee that does not reside in the residence.
  • Provide a fenced outdoor play area as required by the General Statutes.  The fence must be a solid (opaque) fence at least four (4) feet high. This requirement is not applicable for adult day care homes
  • Provide a sketch of the site showing the residence, driveway and parking areas, outdoor play area, fencing, residences located on adjoining lots.
  • The principal person or persons operating the day care home must reside on the premises.
  • Employs no more than one (1) person who does not reside on the premises.
  • A building inspection is required; contact Inspections and Permits Department at (919) 469-4043.
  • A License from NC Department of Health and Human Services may be required; call (919) 362-9675. 
Home Based Business  Approval  Process  Inspection
Type I Home Occupation  None  None  None
Type II Home Occupation  Accessory Use Permit  Staff Approval  None
Home Day Care (Small)  Accessory Use Permit  Staff Approval  Yes
Home Day Care (Large)  Special Use Permit  Council Approval  Yes

 

For questions about Home Occupations or In-Home Day Cares, contact Development Services at (919) 469-4046.