Skip to main content

Does a studio have to be in a commercial zoned location or can it be residential? An info would be much apprieciated :D

Topic Tags


RemyRAD Tue, 08/15/2006 - 23:32

Legally speaking if you're going to run a business, you must be zoned for business especially if you're going to have numerous cars and people at all hours. It's generally a jurisdictional problem so check your local laws where you live.

I never have more than one or 2 people over at any one time and much of my work at home is postproduction oriented not live rock and roll tracking. That's one of the reasons why I have specialized in live on location recording.

Many folks have managed to get by with full rock-and-roll bands in their house provided they never had any complaints from any neighbors and the police have not been notified. Once that has happened, you are screwed.

Have you considered an outhouse?
Ms. Remy Ann David

MadMax Wed, 08/16/2006 - 03:55

Remy's right... check with your local government.

Where I am, I'm outside city limits, so I strictly fall under county jurisdiction. This particular county has little in the way of zoning restrictions and what zoning there is, is land use based.

The two counties east and west of me are tightly zoned. They have strict regulations as to what can operate as a business in different areas. One county even dictates what your hours of operation can/cannot be.

I would encourage you to make a general business inquiry to your local government before you get going too far.


Thomas W. Bethel Wed, 08/16/2006 - 05:43

Some cities can have multiple zones right on the same street or the same neighborhood. I do only mastering, restoration and post production and before I started my business I went house to house around my house to talk to my neighbors and tell them what I was going to be doing and that there were no live recording sessions, no noise and there would be maybe two extra cars in my driveway at any given time. No one had a problem with what I was proposing to do. The city where I live says that you can have a business in your home if the following critique are met. 1-You can not produce noise 2- You cannot have large numbers of cars in your driveway 3-You cannot have a sign bigger than a letter sized piece of paper outside your home with your businesses name on it. 4-Your business has to be conducted in such a manner that will not call attention to your location. 5-You have to operate your business durning normal hours and cannot have a home business that is open 24 hours per day. 6-Your business cannot provide services that are illegal or immoral. 7- You cannot produce anything that will cause odors. There are other regulations but they have to do with location near schools or playgrounds.

I would check with the local government and do this before you decide to open your business.

I would also check with your neighbors. I had a good friend who bought a house, constructed a studio and was in business (with all the proper permits) when his next door neighbor decided that he did not like the "riff raft" coming and going at all hours of the day and night. He caused such a uproar in the community that my friend had to close down his studio. My friend's studio was in a residential neighborhood and even though he had permission and permits the next door neighbor raised such a fuss about the drunken, filthy, tire squealing, noisy, musicians (his words) and called the cops two to three times a day. My friend's studio was tucked away at the back of his property, was completely sound isolated and he had maybe on or two cars plus his own two cars in the driveway. The neighbor said there was drug use (untrue) that the musician were playing their radios at full volume at odd hours (probably true), that some of the musicians were contributing to the delinquency of minors (????) and that the whole operation was immoral (????) and that the musicians were taking the name of the Lord in vain (Hip hop lyrics) and it was a big mess with letters to the editor and threats of law suites. My friend spent about $80,000 for materials and he and his father in law build the studio. He still lives in the house and the studio is now a guest house and he has his studio on the main street of town. Just a friendly warning.

anonymous Sun, 08/20/2006 - 17:34

Thanks for all the info. I live inside city limits and I'm actually less than a block away from our "historical" main street, but still in a residentially zoned neighborhood.
I'm mostly going to be doing remote recording also. I probably wont have more than 1 or 2 people over at a time, no loud band tracking or anything like that. But i do want to keep everything legal so I'll have to do some research on zoning in my city.
Remy-I asked my wife about the outhouse idea and she shot it down....maybe a treehouse.....yeah.