Rather than cowering, homebased business owners are the very ones who should be proactively pursuing zoning regulations. Self-destruction? More like self-preservation, says Stephen Lang, founder of the Mount Evans Home Based Business Association in Evergreen, Colorado. "Homebased business owners must step up and suggest to local governments that they need to look at their ordinances," he explains. "Otherwise, when problems happen, emotions get involved and then it's very difficult to get things done."
Prepare for the world of red tape . . . and make the most of city politicians' accessibility. "Take your commissioner to lunch," Lang suggests. "Tell him [or her], `There's a growing wave of this problem across the United States, and it's coming here soon. You've probably heard something about this--wouldn't you like to be prepared?' "
Your pièce de résistance at this lunch? A ready-to-use ordinance that outlines general home occupation standards and addresses issues such as appearance, parking, storage and square footage. Lang offers a copy of this standard ordinance free of charge at www.heartbeat-of-evergreen.com/mehbba So far, at least one city has implemented Lang's ordinance verbatim; others have taken chunks of it and molded it to the unique characteristics of their cities. Either way, Lang may be able to help in your endeavors--contact him at