When considering running your business from a property which is zoned Single Residential Zone 1 (SR1) it is important to consider the guidelines and requirements laid down in the Land Use Planning Ordinance read with the City of Cape Town Zoning Scheme Regulations, specifically Section 5.1.
The Regulations state that a home owner must use a property zoned as Single Residential 1 primarily as a dwelling house for accommodation of a single family. There are also additional use rights associated with these types of properties, which are home occupation, bed and breakfast and home child care. In order to carry out one of these businesses from home the dominant use of the property must be accommodation of a single family; the proprietor of the activity must live on the property; no more than three employees may be engaged in the activity concerned; where more than one of these activities is carried out Council’s consent must be obtained and any new structure or alteration to the property to accommodate an additional use right shall be compatible with the residential character of the area, particularly with regard to the streetscape, and shall be capable of reverting to use as part of the dwelling house, second dwelling or outbuilding concerned. There are also a few important additional requirements that have to be adhered to for each additional use right, which are as follows:
- No goods for sale shall be publicly displayed and no external evidence of the home occupation shall be visible from a public street, except for an advertising sign in accordance with the advertising sign requirement below;
- No advertising sign shall be displayed other than a single, un-illuminated sign or notice not projecting over a public street in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, and such sign shall not exceed 0,2 m² in area;
- Only goods which have been produced or assembled in the home occupation may be sold from the property;
- No activities shall be carried out which constitute or are likely to constitute a source of public nuisance, or generate waste material which may be harmful to the area or which requires special waste removal processes;
- No home occupation shall include a noxious trade, risk activity, adult entertainment business, adult services, adult shop, sale of alcoholic beverages, motor repair garage, funeral parlour or activities that are likely to generate a public nuisance, including but not limited to panel beating and spray painting, auto electrician, builders yard, welding works, joinery
- Off-street parking shall be provided at a ratio of 1 parking bay per 25 m² area used for home occupation unless Council’s approval is obtained to waive this requirement. Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking where parking is not sufficient;
- The total area used for all home occupation activity on a land unit, including storage, shall not consist of more than 25% of the total floor space of the dwelling units on the land unit or 50 m², whichever is the lesser area;
- The storage of all goods and equipment connected with the home occupation shall be inside a building or screened from neighbors and the public street;
- Not more than two vehicles may be used in connection with a home occupation, and no one vehicle shall exceed 3 500 kg gross weight;
- The hours of operation shall not extend beyond 08:00 to 17:30 on Mondays to Fridays, and from 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, and shall not include public holidays or Sundays;
- Council may, at any stage, call for a cessation of the home occupation activity or impose conditions in order to minimize any potential nuisance to surrounding neighbors or the general public.
Bed and Breakfast:
- No more than 3 rooms per land unit shall be used for bedroom accommodation for paying guests or lodgers, and no more than 6 paying guests or lodgers shall be supplied with lodging or meals at any time;
- No alcoholic beverages shall be sold except to resident guests for consumption on the premises with meals;
- Guest rooms shall not be converted to, or used as, separate self-catering dwelling units;
- Meals may only be supplied to guests or lodgers who have lodging on the property, employees, and the family residing in the dwelling;
- No advertising sign shall be displayed other than a single un-illuminated sign or notice not projecting over a public street in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, and such sign shall not exceed 0,5 m² in area;
- Weddings, receptions, conferences, training or any similar activities are not permitted from a bed and breakfast establishment;
- No activities shall be carried out which constitute, or are likely to constitute, a source of public nuisance;
- On-site parking shall be provided in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 19, provided that Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking if, in its opinion, the parking is not sufficient.
Home Child Care:
- No more than 6 children shall be enrolled at the home child care facility at any time;
- Services shall be primarily day care or educational and not medical;
- Services shall not operate outside the hours of 07:00 to 18:00 on Mondays to Fridays, and from 08:00 to 13:00 on Saturdays, and shall not include public holidays or Sundays;
- Indoor and outdoor play space shall be provided in accordance with any health requirement or a policy plan as might be approved by Council from time to time, and outdoor play space shall be fenced off from any public street;
- No advertising sign shall be displayed, other than a single un-illuminated sign or notice in accordance with Council’s Outdoor Advertising and Signage by-law, not projecting over a public street, and such sign shall not exceed 0,5 m² in area; and
- At least one off-street parking bay shall be provided, plus one additional parking bay which is suitable for the use of parents to drop off or collect their children, unless Council’s approval is obtained to waive this requirement. Council may at any stage require additional on-site parking where parking is not sufficient.
If the business you are intending to run from your home falls into one of the following categories, you will need to obtain Council’s consent before running such a business from home:
- Utility services;
- Place of instruction;
- Place of worship;
- House shop;
- Guest house;
- Rooftop base telecommunication station;
- Wind turbine infrastructure;
- Open space;
- Urban agriculture;
- Second dwelling and halfway house.
To confirm whether you are indeed running a lawful business from your home you can contact the City of Cape Town’s Planning and Building Development Management Department on 021 400 1111.