Re: Experience with allowing Home Based Businesses with Clients       REPLY
From: Kathy Icenogle (
Date: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 11:48:14 -0800 (PST)
First, thank you to all who have responded so far (including Alan and
I would love to hear from more, particularly with respect to any negative
experiences, or perhaps reasons a community may have chosen to reject the
practice of allowing businesses with clients.

This "waiver" to allow a business is being considered in the context of a
whole raft of guidelines that the community came up with to inform our
Steering Team regarding the terms under which a home business waiver may be
granted. The guidelines attempt to accommodate the concerns that have been
raised by various members, and include such things as adhering to city
regulations and providing a copy of the business license and evidence of
liability insurance... restrictions on parking, how clients enter the
community, restrictions on amount of total traffic the community would
tolerate at any one time and total per week, being subject to annual review
and approval... many of which I see reflected in the policies that have
been discussed on this list.

The particular business in question (acupuncture and massage therapy) would
be conducted in a unit that has an outside entrance, and is easily accessed
from the street w/o looking into anyone's windows. Parking is a major
concern for us concern, since our property has limited parking and most of
our street parking is already consumed by people who are using our street
as their parking lot for working downtown or at the nearby medical center.
Given that many of the business owner's current clients live nearby, they
may even walk here... Whereas, if she has to move her business to a
commercial location that fits her budget, I think she may lose a lot of her
"regulars" who would find the new location less convenient... Even if she
can keep all her clients, she would have to increase her client load to
afford the rent, which means we (as a community) lose some of the value we
gain from her presence on the property.

I expect issues of how operating out of the business owner's home impacts
the business (an image of being less professional) or their home (due to
wear and tear from client traffic) are things that only impact the business
owner, not the community.  Our concern is more about any impact the
business will have on the community.

Obviously, I feel very supportive of allowing this business.  I think it
will make a huge difference to the Owner while having negligible impact on
the Community. However, I am in the position of having to convince my
fellow Steering Team members to allow the business on at least an
"experimental" basis... meaning that, if the community is negatively
impacted, the business would have to stop operating on the property within
60 days notice.  I believe the opponents are just scared, because they have
heard horror stories re: businesses having caused problems for HOAs.  I am
trying to argue that cohousing is different... which is why I am looking
for information on what folks have experienced with businesses in the
context of cohousing.

So far, I'm only hearing positive experiences of cohousers... or at worst,
"no significant problems" .
Are there any communities out there that have regretted the practice of
allowing home businesses - specifically those with clients (vs. someone
just working out of his/her home)?



On Wed, Feb 24, 2016 at 8:38 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> > On Feb 24, 2016, at 10:27 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]
> >>
> wrote:
> >
> > So does she really have 20 clients a week? That would be a lot of wear
> and tear on her business.
> Sorry, that should be “wear and tear on her home.”
> Sharon.
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