LA PLATA, Md. - The Charles County Commissioners and the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management today announced that the Cottage Industry Program, Bill 2006-13, was implemented on December 14, 2006.
The Cottage Industry Program gives property owners with parcels of five acres or more in the agricultural and rural zones the opportunity to establish a business with goods and services that may not be permitted under a standard home occupation permit. Cottage Industries will be permitted in the Agricultural Conservation (AC) and Rural Conservation (RC) zones, but would require a Special Exception in the Rural Residential zones.
The bill distinguishes between "Home Occupations" and "Cottage Industries."
According to the bill, the types of businesses considered suitable as home occupations include, but are not limited to:
 Tailoring or dressmaking.
 Catalog or mail-order sales.
 Typing or word processing services.
 Answering services.
 Bookkeeping or accounting services.
 Office space for off-site service businesses.
 Woodworking or other home crafts.
The types of businesses considered unsuitable as home occupations include, but are not limited to:
 Automobile sales, repair, dismantling, storage, or body shops.
 Engine or machine shops.
 Lawn equipment repair.
 Retail sales.
 Barber or beauty shops.
 Medical or dental offices.
 Dance studios.
The types of businesses considered suitable as cottage industries include, but are not necessarily limited to:
 any business activity considered suitable as a home occupation.
 small engine (lawn mower, motorcycle, moped, etc.) and small electronic appliance repair and servicing, provided the business will have no outdoor displays or staging of inventory.
 pottery, glass, art, sculpture, wood crafting, or other commercial handcrafting operation.
 veterinary office to primarily serve a surrounding agricultural community.
 personal services, excluding massage parlors, provided that the gross floor area of the proposed use does not exceed four hundred (400) square feet.
The types of businesses considered unsuitable as cottage industries include, but are not necessarily limited to:
 any manufacturing or industrial processing operations that are not permitted or permitted with conditions in the ac or rc zones.
 automobile or farm equipment sales, repair, dismantling, storage or body shops.
 heavy or large engine or machine repair.
 medical or dental offices, unless such offices are established and operated to primarily serve a surrounding agricultural community.
 commercial kennels or cat boarding facilities.
 retail sales operations.
 landscaping, plumbing, or electrical contractor trades.
 massage parlors.
For more information about the Cottage Industries Program, contact the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Managements Planning Office at 301-645-0540. You can also download the bill at