For most Pennsylvanians, it seems much longer than just over a month ago that Governor Wolf issued orders closing all “non-life-sustaining” businesses and directing all residents to “stay-at-home.” While these orders have saved countless lives, they have also caused several businesses to either alter or shutdown their operations. Many employees have been furloughed, laid-off or compelled to work from their homes.
Fortunately, modern technology has enabled certain office employees to continue working, not in their office buildings, but from their home offices. These new home offices may be nothing more than unfinished basements or converted dining rooms, spare bedrooms or even kitchen tables. These home office activities and functions are considered a form of home-based businesses or occupations (HBBs) as defined, permitted and regulated by most municipal zoning ordinances. In many instances, new HBBs have been quite successful. Therefore, while the Governor’s orders are not likely to remain in place in perpetuity, many businesses are considering modifying their operations to support increased use of HBBs even after the orders are lifted.
Many of the municipal HBB regulations were adopted several decades ago and may not reflect modern community planning, business or technology trends.
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