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Live/Work and Work/Live

Live/Work and Work/Live uses allow a non-separated commercial business and a residential use within the same space. In the case of live/work, the space is defined as a residential occupancy and the commercial use can be no more than 50 percent of the unit. With work/live, however, the space is a commercial occupancy, and the residential use cannot exceed 50 percent of the space. In both cases, the business owner both resides and operates a business within the same space. Unlike home occupations, the business may have employees and customers just like any other type of commercial business. In general, the unit size is limited to 3,000 square feet; however, there are also alternatives for work/live uses to provide for larger unit sizes if the commercial and residential spaces are separated.


A Live/Work and Work/Live Agreement is required to be completed and signed for any business conducting this activity.  The Agreement will be reviewed by Fire, Environmental Services (Source Control), Planning and Development Services (PDS) and Tax & License Compliance for the protection of public welfare, health and safety of citizens. 


If after review, the business activity does not comply with any provisions of the Tacoma Municipal Code, the license may be denied, and notification will be sent to the business owner.  The business owner will be provided an opportunity to appeal the license denial. 


Approval can be obtained by submitting a completed Live/Work and Work/Live Agreement and fee to the Tax & License office.  The agreement will be routed to the appropriate City departments for review. 


You can find more information in Tacoma Municipal Code 6B.145 about the Live/Work and Work/Live license requirements or PDS Tip Sheet