Why do I need a traffic impact study?

I contacted my local zoning department about starting a home based handbag business. I was told that I would have to fill out an application for a traffic impact study. What is that, and do I really need one for a business that won't increase the traffic in my neighborhood?
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Government agencies typically require a traffic study when there is controversy with a neighborhood group about your project or your development needs to go through an environmental review process.

Normally, a traffic impact study is conducted whenever a proposed development will generate 100 or more added (new) trips during the adjacent roadways' peak hour or the development's peak hour. It's not clear why a home handbag business would generate that kind of traffic, but perhaps the way you conveyed the business gave the agency the impression that you had a far more industrial operation in mind.

Speak to a local business attorney who is familiar with the zoning laws, as he or she may know of an exception to the local rule on traffic studies.