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Home Occupation Flexibility

Increase flexibility on types of home occupations allowed.

The advances in communication and information technology, especially the impact of home computers and the internet, allow for more mobile businesses and working from home. Eliminating the commute to work, avoiding the cost of leasing or owning space for a business, and being near loved ones are among the reasons that make working from home attractive.

The U.S. Census Bureau states in its report, Working at Home is on the Rise, that the number of home-based workers increased by 4.2 million between 1997 and 2010. In addition, the American Community Survey, by the U.S. Census Bureau, shows that, between 2010 and 2017, the number of home-based workers increased by another 2 million. The report also states that there has been a 69% increase in home-based work in the computer, engineering, and science occupations. However, one in four home-based workers, which equals about 3.4 million workers in the United States, are employed in the management, business, and financial occupations. The U.S. Census Bureau defines “home-based worker” as a person who works exclusively or part of the time from home.

Lexington-Fayette County’s zoning ordinance allows home occupations, as an accessory use in its agriculture zones and as a conditional use in other zones, and home offices, as an accessory use in many zones. Technology, services, and products are continually changing, so reviewing and updating the zoning ordinance, especially the definitions for home office and home occupation, would be advantageous for Lexington’s economic development to ensure as many types of home offices and home occupations may be incorporated as can be suitable and compatible.

Action Item(s)

  • Update Zoning Ordinance regulations related to home occupations and home offices.

Goals and Objectives

GOAL A3: Provide well-designed neighborhoods and communities.

Objective: A3a

Enable existing and new neighborhoods to flourish through improved regulation, expanded opportunities for neighborhood character preservation, and public commitment to expand options for mixed-use and mixed-type housing throughout Lexington-Fayette County

GOAL C2: Attract the world’s finest jobs, encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, and enhance our ability to recruit and retain a talented, creative workforce by establishing opportunities that embrace diversity with inclusion in our community.

Objective: C2a

Prioritize the success and growth of strategically-targeted employment sectors (healthcare, education, high-tech, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, agritourism, and the like), and enable infill and redevelopment that creates jobs where people live.

Objective: C2b

Improve opportunities for small business development and workers who rely on personal technology.

Objective: C2c

Review and improve regulations and policies that attract and retain high paying jobs through close collaboration with agencies that focus on economic development.

GOAL E1: Uphold the Urban Service Area concept.

Objective: E1b

Ensure all types of development are environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable to accommodate the future growth needs of all residents while safeguarding rural land.