If you reside in the Town of Westlock and you are self-employed you may need a Development Permit for a Home Based Business. Any business where the operator resides in Westlock but does not have a permanent business address in a non-residential location is considered to be a home-based business for the purposes of the Land Use Bylaw. Contact the Development Department to inquire.
Approval of a home based business is done in two stages:
- Development Permit: Operating a business of any kind in a home, regardless of whether there is any outward appearance of its presence in the neighborhood, constitutes a change in use from residential only to residential plus home business. A development permit is required and, once approved, is valid for as long as the occupant continues to operate the home based business at the same location unless it is revoked for sufficient cause under the Land Use Bylaw. If the occupant plans to relocate to another home, or expand or change the business in the same home, a new development permit is required. Links: Development Permit Process; Development Permit Application; Home Occupation Supporting Information forms; Home Occupations brochure; Fees: $50 permitted use; $100 discretionary use or variance
- Business License: The occupant will be asked to complete an Application for Business License form at the time of development permit application. Upon approval of the development permit the applicant will be asked to submit payment for the business license. The license must then be renewed annually in January.
Home Based Businesses, referred to in the Land Use Bylaw as “Home Occupations”, are broken down into two categories:
Major Home Occupations
A Major Home Occupation is described as a business, occupation, trade, profession, or craft carried on by an occupant of a dwelling unit as a use secondary to the residential use of the dwelling, and which does not change the character of the building in which it is located or have any exterior evidence of such secondary use other than a small sign as provided for in Section 7.8.11(16) of the Land Use Bylaw 2004-06. A major home occupation may have up to one (1) employee, other than those resident in the dwelling unit, and more than five (5) client visits per week, and a limited amount of outdoor storage of goods. A major home occupation may include, but is not restricted to, hairdressing and cutting, dressmaking, millinery and similar domestic crafts, music and/or dance instruction, minor repairs to household equipment, a bed and breakfast establishment, a day home, and tutoring. The distinctions between major home occupations and minor home occupations are more fully described in Section 7.8.3 of the Land Use By-Law.
A Major Home Occupation is considered a Discretionary Use and applications must be considered by the Municipal Planning Commission.
Minor Home Occupations
A Minor Home Occupation is described as any business, occupation, trade, profession, or craft carried on by an occupant of a dwelling unit as a use secondary to the residential use of the dwelling, and which does not change the character of the building in which it is located or have any exterior evidence of such secondary use. A minor home occupation will have no employees, other than those resident in the dwelling unit, and no more than five (5) client visits per week, and no outdoor storage of any goods. A minor home occupation may include, but is not restricted to, offices of accountants, doctors, business and professional consultants, contractors, lawyers, bookkeepers, architects, catalogue sales, and minor repair shops, but does not include any development that may, in the opinion of the Development Authority, be considered to be a major home occupation. The distinctions between minor home occupations and major home occupations are more fully described in Section 7.8.3 of the Land Use By-Law;
A Minor Home Occupation is usually considered a Permitted Use and applications may typically be considered by the Development Authority Officer unless there is a variance involved or the Officer deems the use may negatively impact the amenities of the neighborhood.