When a home occupation crosses the line for neighbours

Home occupation is a viable alternative to the daily commute, but when is it time to leave home? I am a strong believer in home occupations, but there are limits and there are times when it is not the right answer.

Home occupation is a viable alternative to the daily commute, but when is it time to leave home?

I am a strong believer in home occupations, but there are limits and there are times when it is not the right answer.

It makes sense for someone who works behind a desk, on the phone or laptop to not have to commute to a nondescript office or cubicle if he can do the work at home. Expenses would be less, a smaller wardrobe, fewer appointments at the hair dressers, cheaper lunches, less transportation costs, etc., and you would benefit on possible deductions from percentage of rent, mortgage, utilities, etc.

So why not?

You get to answer all those calls offering free cruises, lower interest rates, surveys, or you get to deal with sick or unruly children, drop-in guests, and requests for baby-sitting or coffee. You are never away from work, never far from the phone, desk or computer.

Growth could be a factor. OK, it is only you sitting at a desk, but then you perhaps need an assistant, co-ordinator, a shipper-receiver, cold-caller, delivery driver, stamp-licker, and a family member won’t do. Then what?

Perhaps you have overtaken the garage so there is no room for the car, maybe you are constantly jockeying the cars in the driveway. You have the busiest driveway in neighbourhood, or you have the only driveway filled with logo-clad vehicles or the only garage with commercial or industrial equipment parked in it.

Now it may be time to leave home. You will not benefit from the deductions and you will have to endure the extra costs, and you will not enjoy the lower costs of sales than your competitors, but it is time to leave home.

Municipalities usually have rules regarding activities, number of employees, number of vehicles, etc., but monitoring and enforcement can be cumbersome or non-existent. But if you are wondering if it is time, it probably is. Your neighbours might be getting tired of the increased traffic, the extreme number of non-residents visiting, or perhaps the view.

What neighbour would not want to come home and watch commercial traffic, listen to commercial noise, after investing their life’s blood into a home where trees were once visible or birds could once be heard?

Who would not want to stand in their backyard among roses and newly mowed grass to gaze over the fence at commercial equipment and goods? What is better than awakening to employees showing up at your neighbour’s house, in the early morn, starting up and loading company vehicles after you worked late the day before, or was up all night with a sick child?

A home occupation is a serious and viable answer but it is not for everyone and it is a hard habit to break. There is a line that should not be crossed and it can sneak up on you quickly so you need to be vigilant. Is it one delivery a week or is it one delivery twice a day? Employee picking up their paycheques or is it the weekly staff meeting — when does it cross the line?

There is a reason why we have commercial and industrial districts. The residential area is for residences, for children, for retirees, for laughter, for families, for enjoying life, and a place to get away from the rat race, not for businesses and industrial enterprise.

A home occupation is for the discreet and the minute it becomes less than that it is time to leave home. If you have to ask, it probably is.

Garfield Marks

Red Deer

Just Posted

WATCH: Rappelling down Red Deer’s Stantec Building a thrilling, scary experience

Advocate reporter chronicles his trip down the 13-storey buildling

Red Deer raises $60,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation

27 brave residents rappell down Stantec Building

People hurt in rollover near Red Deer

Occupants of a vehicle that rolled south of Hwy 11A were airlifted… Continue reading

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

WATCH: Gazebo groundbreaking in Waskasoo

Fifty per cent of the $100,000 project is funded by a provincial government grant

Woman killed in collision near Olds

A woman is dead after a collision west of Olds Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Evacuation numbers remain at nearly 1,000 as B.C. wildfires rage on

SUMMERLAND, B.C. — Officials in British Columbia’s Okanagan region hope that fire… Continue reading

Survivors recount deadly Missouri duck boat sinking

BRANSON, Mo. — “Grab the baby!” Those were the last words Tia… Continue reading

HMCS St. John’s to return to Halifax after six-month deployment overseas

HALIFAX — The countdown is on for the homecoming of a Halifax-class… Continue reading

Trump says lawyer taping him may be ‘illegal’

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — The Latest on President Donald Trump and his onetime… Continue reading

Spieth part of 3-way tie for British lead as Woods lurks

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Jordan Spieth has a share of the lead in… Continue reading

WWII hero’s lost Purple Heart returned to his family

NEW YORK — A lost Purple Heart medal has been returned to… Continue reading

California girl, 2, accidentally shot and killed by boy, 4

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month