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City of San Mateo Municipal Code.


Home occupations are permitted in dwellings upon approval of a Home Occupation Certificate by the City. All home occupations shall meet the following standards:

(a) Allowable Uses. The home occupation shall be accessory to the primary use of the dwelling as a residence. Allowable uses include offices, professional services, instruction, food preparation, handicrafts, and other similar uses as authorized by the Zoning Administrator. Auto repair and retail sales from the dwelling are prohibited. Businesses selling or renting firearms, as defined by Penal Code section 12001(b), shall be prohibited unless a special use permit is approved, subject to compliance with the limitations set forth in this section and such other conditions as are established by the special use permit process.

(b) Employees. Permanent residents of the dwelling are the only persons permitted to engage in or be employed in the home occupation at the residence. Workers shall not be allowed to physically report to the property for activities such as dispatching or assignment to off-site locations.

(c) Allowable Area. The home occupation shall be limited to either four-hundred (400) square feet or twenty (20) percent of the floor area of the dwelling (excluding parking but including storage areas), whichever is less. An accurate floor plan shall be submitted as part of the Home Occupation Certificate, showing the area to be devoted to the home occupation, including any vehicles parking area. The use shall be conducted only in the primary residence of the employee or in an accessory structure on the same parcel. No area devoted to off-street parking required by Chapter 27.64 for the dwelling shall be used in any manner for the purpose of conducting a home occupation.

(d) Client Visitation. Client visitation shall be limited to the hours between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. A maximum of five (5) client visitations per day to the site is permitted.

(e) Deliveries. Goods, materials, equipment or services delivered to or from the home occupation shall only be permitted by the home occupation employees, or by a private or government-operated mail service. Deliveries shall take place only between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and shall not take place more than twice daily.

(f) Parking. Home occupations shall provide off-street parking for all vehicles owned by or registered to the business. However, one vehicle owned by or registered to the home occupation may utilize one of the dwelling unit's parking spaces if the vehicle is also the home occupation employee's primary personal transportation. Vehicles used in conjunction with the home occupation shall conform to the provisions of Chapter 11.32 of the City of San Mateo Municipal Code.

(g) Outdoor display and storage. Outdoor display or storage of goods, equipment or material is prohibited.

(h) Dwelling appearance. The home occupation shall not be conducted in a manner that changes the exterior character and appearance of the dwelling unit in which it is conducted.

(i) Nuisance. The home occupation shall not be conducted in a manner which constitutes a public nuisance, or is offensive or hazardous. The home occupation shall not generate light, noise or vibration disruptive to the character of a residential neighborhood, or generate electrical or electronic interference. In no event shall the home occupation generate noise in excess of 45 dBA (LDN) when measured at any property line. The home occupation shall not generate garbage, refuse or recyclable material exceeding the amount normally associated with a residential use of the property. The use shall not utilize hazardous materials, and shall not create adverse effects, including, but not limited to, traffic, parking, crime, security matters, smoke or odors.

(j) Business Tax. All required business taxes shall be timely paid.