The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that engineering is not a home occupation that justifies a special zoning exception that would permit an engineer to legally establish an engineering business and home in a residential area.

Allegheny West Civic Council v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of Pittsburgh, 716 A.2d 600, concerned a case in which the local zoning board had ruled in favor of the home owner/engineer. Their reasoning was that proposed use of the property was consistent with the neighborhood because of minimal residential use on the street, and that there were other commercial and industrial uses in the immediate vicinity of the property.

However, that ruling was appealed by a neighborhood association, arguing that the proposed engineering business was not a home occupation as defined by the zoning ordinance. The ordinance required that a business be of "customary or accessory use" in a residential dwelling. An appelate court and the Supreme Court held that an engineering consulting business was not.