Heads Up To All Of You LCC Researching Starting A Business Out Of Your Residence

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GG Green, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. GG Green

    GG Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Before we started our lawn company early this year this site came very helpful to us with wealth of information and we've learned a lot being on here. So we thought we took all the necessary steps to research the market place and register our corporation and increase our clientel to quite a satisfying level this year. With the season being over for lawn mowing and such, we are hoping to expand our services to exsisting clientel and future customers alike. We took an initative to inquire about granular fertilization application permits and proper storing procedures so that there would be no surprises with breaking any city by-laws. We have gotten a mouthful interms of email (see attached) from city official specializing in related by-laws and zoning developments. We had been informed that it is not permitted to store any types of granular/liquid pesticides and herbicides on a residential (R1) zoned dwelling without extensive alteration to our dwelling's weeping tiles and re-zoning our home to commercial property. Obviously a long drawn process not always ending up in the favourite of an applicant. With this email we also learned that operating a lawn care business with all of its characteristics is prohibted and if convicted fined with high penalties and possibly a jail time.
    Coincidentally we are looking to sell and relocate to a new house and with that said, we quickly decided to change our plans of looking at residential and commercial zone mixed properties.
    Right from the beginning we wanted to make things right to start our business and to progress it with minimum friction from city regulations and keep good neighbourly relations. We feel though that in our not so friendly neighbourhood it could only take a phone call from an aggrevated neighbour to report illegal commercial activity practices.
    Lesson learned nothing lost we are taking procautions.
    Operating in Hamilton, Ontario we feel that this might not affect all of you good folks living in the US but some it may and for that we wanted to give you the heads up.

    Attached Files:

  2. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 452

    well, I live in Ontario, but not Hamilton and my property is agricultural so it's a moot point.

    No dwelling should be used to store fert, but it's not a big deal to buy what you need for the day. And if it's gran you can store a few bags, no big deal.

    The main thing I would worry about would be the following...

    Unless you are storing 21' batwing mowers, etc... even a ride on should be okay. Some neiborhoods are picky about trailers, etc... in the driveway but this depends largely on neigbours and the like.

    If they are giving you a hard time still, you can always rent a yard or storage unit. Public Storage, etc... has rates starting at $1 for your first month. And your equipment is kept in an alarmed unit under lock and key.

    If you want to cheap out you can rent a small space off a local farmer and park your equipment in his field. Many farmers don't mind the extra income, a few hundred dollars cash a year can go a long way.

    There is nothing in there stopping you from running a business from your home, just how you store your stuff. They arn't going to write you a $25,000 fine because you parked 2 lawnmowers in your garage.

    If they find out you have 1000 gallons of liquid chem fertalizer, 500 gallons of diesel and you are parking a 20' enclosed trailer blocking the sidewalk, they might write a big fine.

    At one point in my business I lived in a semi detached single car driveway house. I had two pickups and a dump truck parked in front at points. When I could I kept the dump and a pickup at the farm around the corner, but when I didn't the biggest fine I ever got was $200 by a cop who lived on the street. (it helped I knew the guy who wrote tickets at night :p)

    I know a guy still in the neiborhood and he was told he can't park his commercial vehicles on the street and was threated with similar fines you discussed, but he was given a registered letter first.
  3. mini14

    mini14 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 236

    i say thread the needle.
  4. GG Green

    GG Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    Crazymike, it's as you are saying we will buy all the fertilizer that we need for the days work without having to store more than a couple of bags.
    Right now we are working with just a couple of 21" self-propelled mowers and have a handful of smaller pieces of equipment. Mostly residential mowing, shrub trimming, small tree cutting and rottotilling and a half ton truck and smaller trailer to boot. We are really not disturbing the neighbourhood much as of yet. It's pretty much just loading and unloading equipment and pressure washing it after a days work, not much noise to mention either. All equipment is then stored in the garage. Where we live though, it is a pretty tight residential neighbourhood of primarily 40 x 100 foot lots. You can feel the lack of space.
    Next year we are hoping to take it to another level. We hope to purchase a couple of riding mowers, core aerator, stump grinder, wood chipper and also fertilize to grow the business.
    There will be a lot more small engine commotion running our business out of the house.
    As far as storage space goes I agree it is a good alternative but fire regulations come into an effect and I really don't want to empty out the tanks at work's days end.
    I'm hoping that our near future move to a bigger commercial/residential zoned dwelling will fix majority of the issues with upcoming more busy season.

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