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Home Occupations (Operating a Business Out of a Residence)

As stated in the San Diego Municipal Code (SDMC), Section 141.0308 (Land Development Code), home occupations are businesses conducted by residents on the premises of their homes, and are subject to the following regulations:

  • Home occupations are permitted only as accessory uses to a residential use.
  • Any products produced for sale must be manufactured by hand-made or grown on the premises.
  • The home occupation shall not eliminate or reduce required off-street parking.
  • Signs advertising the home occupation are not permitted. Other advertising shall not include the address of the premises.
  • Home occupations, except for horticultural uses permitted in Chapter 13, Article 1, Division 3 (Agricultural Base Zones) and Division 4 (Residential Base Zones), shall be conducted within an enclosed structure on the premises.
  • Materials or products associated with the home occupation on the premises must be stored within an enclosed structure.
  • Indoor storage of materials or products associated with the home occupation shall not exceed 1,000 cubic feet for the entire premises, or any more restrictive limitations imposed by Building and Housing Codes or the County Health Department.
  • The operation of the home occupation shall be consistent with permitted residential uses, shall not create any conditions that amount to a public nuisance, and shall not be detrimental to the residential neighborhood by causing increased noise, traffic, lighting, odor, or by violating any applicable ordinances or laws.
  • The resident of the premises shall not rent space to others in association with a home occupation.
  • Only a resident of the premises may engage in a home occupation on the premises. Nonresident partners, employees, or customers are not permitted on the premises.
  • All sales and all service and/or work that requires the presence of a partner, employee, or customer shall take place off the premises.
  • Only one vehicle for business-related purposes is permitted on the premises or on any adjacent residentially zoned area. This vehicle may not exceed a one-ton carrying capacity and may not be a tow-truck.


The following exceptions to the regulations in SDMC Section 141.0308(j), (k) and (l) may be permitted with a Neighborhood Use Permit:

  • Home offices may have one employee or partner on the premises during the hours between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday;
  • Home offices may have one customer on the premises at a time, by appointment only, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; and
  • Home occupations may have more than one vehicle for business-related purposes.


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