Eligibility question of business on private, single-home residential property.

I am looking for clarification on wayspot eligibility for an odd combination of factors. Currently there exists two wayspots at a "meditation retreat center". One is a sign for the center itself and the other is a walking trail with a hand-made sign. While I could see the retreat center and trail in it of themselves being eligible at face value, one as a gathering spot and the other as a common trail, there is an oddity. The "center" and it's wayspots exist on private single-home residential property (as demonstrated on public property records), as the operators of the "center" live on site.

The closest thing I have seen to this is when a church is run out of someone's house and it has been considered invalid, however I am not sure this is 100% the same. At the end of the day, to me it seems that a business run out of someone's house should still be invalid if its a private single-home residence according to the criteria. However, I want to ask the community their thoughts.


  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    My understanding is that a business operated from a house is still a business - the owner is advertising and inviting people to come onto their property to visit the business.

    I would not say that a shared business and residential home is PRP and would just vote according to how I felt the business met criteria. In this case a meditation retreat sounds eligible as a good place to socialise, and probably encourages tourists to visit and stay.

    A trail sounds eligible too, even crossing this property since its a business. It isn't uncommon for trails to cross private property, at least in my country. Usually the trail pre-dates the property and hikers are legally allowed to use the trail.

  • Smashingt0n-INGSmashingt0n-ING Posts: 35 ✭✭

    I think I see what you are saying, but I am not sure I agree. Yes, the owner advertises and invites people to come to their property to visit the retreat center he has made, but it is still his private, single family residence, and is zoned as such according to public records. What is to prevent anyone with a little bit of land from making up a sign that says "Backyard retreat" and submitting it?

    I go back to the church out of a house example. I have seen appeals on this forum where niantic has decided to remove such wayspots because of the private residential property rule. At what point does the zoning not matter?

  • MargariteDVille-INGMargariteDVille-ING Posts: 2,622 ✭✭✭✭✭

    In the U.S., if it is zoned R1, Single Family Residence, then the business is illegal. They need to apply for re-zoning (which probably won't go over well with the neighbors). They need to pay business taxes and get licenses like anyone they compete with.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,193 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The private residential property exists to protect homeowners/residents from game players creating a disturbance on our near their property. I would evaluate this in terms of, "Imagine 20 rambunctious people showed up to play a game together. What impact would that have on the residents?"

    In the case of a business in a private home, the business almost certainly has limited hours and outside of that the home is just a home. "Normal" businesses close too, but they don't turn into residences after-hours.

  • Smashingt0n-INGSmashingt0n-ING Posts: 35 ✭✭

    This is pretty accurate, it is only open at the owners discretion for specific engagements. Has been closed for business operations due to the pandemic since before the wayspots came online. One cannot just stop by and not be trespassing, but there are several other types of wayspots where that would be the case, like a wildlife management area only open during daylight hours.

  • Smashingt0n-INGSmashingt0n-ING Posts: 35 ✭✭

    Seems it zoned as an R1-A. Not even going to dig into the potential business license issues, that's none of my concern, nor that of Niantic I imagine. Also there is homestead exemption listed, which at least signifies that the property is used as the primary residence. When looking at it all together it seems that what is should not be.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,193 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Smashingt0n-ING I think your analysis is generally correct. The difference between other things with limited hours like parks and wildlife refuges and a business in a private home is disturbing people at home. Niantic has been sued by and settled with homeowners over exactly this sort of disturbance.

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    You didn't say "fake sign for retreat in order to get a waypoint" though, you explained it as if it were a valid business so I gave my answer assuming it was a legit business. If you think it isn't a legit business then this discussion seems redundant?

    My points were made in good faith that this is an official trail and a real business. If they aren't then of course just reject!

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    I’m not sure what the business on the residential property looks like in the US. But it is quite common in Taiwan. I’d like to explain how it works in Taiwan briefly.

    The following statistics show the purpose of the buildings in the urban area of Taichung city in 2012.

    Number of pure residential buildings: 67014

    Number of hybrid buildings (business and residential, including multi-family): 35027

    Number of pure business buildings: 7042

    Although the business property and the residential property are in the same building, they are clearly separate. Such hybrid buildings are usually multi-story buildings. The first floor is for business. And the second floor and above are for residency. The business owner would not live in the business property, such as the kitchen of the restaurant.

    Furthermore, the business owner and the residents may not be the same. In this case, it is illegal for the residents to enter business property without permission.

    My point is, although they are in the same building, business property is business property. It doesn't turn into a residential property when the business close. In this situation, rating such a business according to the business criteria would be fine.

    Please let me know if there is any problem.

    Reference: https://www.ud.taichung.gov.tw/media/178560/3101816335979.pdf

    Picture 1: Business in multi-family residences.

    This picture is from a news website: https://house.udn.com/house/story/120997/4415974

    Picture 2: Business in single-family residences.

    This picture is from a news website: https://www.ettoday.net/news/20200429/1702497.htm

  • FrealafGB-PGOFrealafGB-PGO Posts: 354 ✭✭✭✭

    This is common in the UK too, with flats above business premises being "the norm", also big apartment blocks often have businesses on the ground floor.

    In suburban areas people may run a business from their home too, but usually the business has a separate door or is in a separate building on the property.

  • 00Sterling-PGO00Sterling-PGO Posts: 22 ✭✭

    Many municipalities allow some home businesses. The way I see it though is if the person moves, their business does too and the zoning remains the same. The new owner may not play and wonder why random people park in front of their house for no apparent reason.

  • Hosette-INGHosette-ING Posts: 3,193 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The situation we're talking about is something like this: Imagine a single-family private residential home. It's not a part of a larger structure, just a house. The owner of the house is a tax accountant, and they run their business out of their home. Probably they have converted part of their home to a full-time office, and their clients come to their home for meetings. That's the case we're talking about here.

    There are plenty of places in the US that have businesses on the ground floor and residences above-- I happen to live in one myself. Those are perfectly fine. Niantic has special rules for stand-alone single family homes, and the discussion is specifically about whether having a business in a stand-alone home makes it eligible. The consensus seems to be no.

  • phi2458-PGOphi2458-PGO Posts: 164 ✭✭✭

    I’ve got your point. I agree that your example is ineligible.

    A nomination should be somewhat publicly accessible to avoid rejection. Obviously, it is not in this case. The owner just invited the clients to his/her home to have a business meeting. The home did not turn into a commercial property. If it were allowed, many houses would become eligible because people work from home during the pandemic. That’s crazy.

    When it comes to business in a stand-alone home, the first thing that comes to my mind is what the picture shows. The owner runs a restaurant or a shop on the ground floor and lives on the other floors. I think it would be fine, but not sure about the consensus.

    By the way, if it is illegal, just reject it.

  • Smashingt0n-INGSmashingt0n-ING Posts: 35 ✭✭

    Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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