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Home studios and zoning problems in the US

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Home studios and zoning problems in the US

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Oct 03, 2019 1:08 am

In the U.S. if you make money using your home, you can run into zoning problems, but only if someone complains. Zoning rules are local, so every town, county, etc may have different rules. But in general, if someone complains, you can be forced to stop unless you are explicitly allowed. The issue only comes up if you do things that annoy other people and they find out that you are making money. Then usually the laws are on the side of the person complaining and they can shut you down.

Attempts at changing those laws have recently seen things going against the home studios at least in Nashville. Looks like the issue is 'serving clients on site'. So they are not denying the making of money, just the coming and going of people to the property.

https://www.billboard.com/articles/busi ... -dismissed

https://www.billboard.com/articles/busi ... udio-legal

So, what if the commercial studios decide to use this as a tactic to shut down the home studios - at least, the ones that happen to make some money with it?
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Re: Home studios and zoning problems in the US

Postby blinddrew » Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:58 pm

We have a not too dissimilar issue with live music venues in the UK. Places that have hosted music for years suddenly find a new block of flats going up next door, the new neighbours complain, the venue gets a noise abatement notice and can't afford the requisite treatment so either stops hosting music (pubs) or closes down (venues). There was a move to get this aspect of the law changed but I'm not sure how far it went.

In terms of your specific question at the end, if commercial studios are really worried about losing business to home studios and try and use these methods then I'd suggest that they would be better spending their time talking about what's good about their studio! :)

EDIT:
That having been said, from a neighbour's perspective, there's the world of difference between a home studio recording some acoustic music during normal daytime hours and a tanked-up band rolling down the path at 2 in the morning.
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Re: Home studios and zoning problems in the US

Postby The Korff » Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:50 am

DC-Choppah wrote:So, what if the commercial studios decide to use this as a tactic to shut down the home studios - at least, the ones that happen to make some money with it?

It's been happening for some time already!

See: https://www.soundonsound.com/music-business/record-1
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