42 Wm. & Mary L. Rev. 1191 (2000-2001)
On Castles and Commerce: Zoning Law and the Home-Business Dilemma

handle is hein.journals/wmlr42 and id is 1211 raw text is: ON CASTLES AND COMMERCE: ZONING LAW AND THE
HOME-BUSINESS DILEMMA
NIcoLE STELLE GARNETr*
As I write this sentence, I am bouncing my six-month-old
daughter on my knee, eating one of those awful cardboard-textured
cereal bars, and pondering the best way to explain the difference
between springing and shifting executory interests to my first-year
property class. I might also be breaking the law.'
For most people, for most of human history, work and home have
been inextricably intertwined. Practically everyone, from the farmer
to the city dweller, worked at home.2 Houses and apartments were
not only dwelling places, but also centers of commercial activity.3
Physicians treated patients and attorneys serviced clients from
offices located in their homes; butchers, bakers, and candlestick
* Assistant Professor of Law, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana. J.D., Yale
Law School, 1995; B-A., Stanford University, 1993. I thank AJ. Bellia, Patricia Bellia,
Richard Garnett, and John Nagle for helpful comments, and Dean Patricia O'Hara and the
Notre Dame Law School for financial assistance. I also thank Maggie Garnett, who
continues to teach me much about the benefits (and costs) of working from home.
Christopher Keegan provided invaluable research assistance. Mistakes are my own.
1. The South Bend Zoning Code permits customary home occupations in residential
zones, a term that is defined to include author. While I assume that an author of law
review articles qualifies, I might run into trouble if a zealous zoning enforcement official
believed that (1) an assistant professor of law is not a customary home occupation; (2) my
personal computer is not electronic or mechanical equipment.. . customarily associated
with domestic use; or (3) my research assistant is my employee. SOUTH BEND, IND.,
MUNICIPAL CODE  21-8(a)(6) (2000), available at http/www.municode.com/CGI-
BIN/om-isapi.dl?infobase=11304.NFO&softpage=BrowseFrame-pg42.
2. See NANCY F. COTT, THE BONDS OF WOMANHOOD: WOMAN's SPHERE IN NEW
ENGLAND, 1780-1835, at 24 (2d ed. 1997) (noting that preindustrial economy consisted of
subsistence farms and home industries); DOLORs HAYDEN, THE GRAND DoMESTIc
REVOLUTION: AHISTORYOFFEMINISTDESIGNS FORAMERICANHOMES, NEIGHBORHOODS, AND
CTES 12-13 (1981) (noting that the vast majority of people in preindustrial America lived
and worked on small subsistence farms).
3. See CoTr, supra note 2, at 24 (noting that prior to 1835, American economy was
household production based); KENNETH T. JACKSON, CRABGRASS FRONTIER: THE
SUBURBANIZATION OF THE UNITED STATES 47 (1985) (noting that, in the preindustrial world,
[e]ach household was a business).

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