What Are Some Additional Single-Family Zoning Regulations?

Abandoned Vehicles (Chapter 11.38) Vehicles parked on public street right-of-way for longer than 72 hours are considered abandoned and may be subject to tow by Police/Traffic.

Accessory Structures (§14.16.020) The following setbacks appy to structures detached from the main residence, such as carports, sheds, pool houses:

  • Front and street side yards. Accessory structures are prohibited in the front and street side yard setback, except decorative yard improvements (e.g., fountains) up to 4’ tall, decorative entryway treatments per 14.16.140A.1 and “at-grade” decks/walkways up to 12 inches; and subject to compliance with sight distance triangle.
  • Interior and rear yards. Small accessory structures can be placed within required yards (e.g., 0’ setback) if unconditioned, up to 120 square feet in area, 8 feet in height to roof peak, decorative structures up to 6 feet, retaining walls up to 4 feet, at grade walkways and decks up to 12 inches; and with at least 3 feet of clearance maintained between the primary and accessory structure. All other structures shall be subject to a 3 feet or greater setback from the property line and a 15 foot height limit.
  • Accessory structures must not cover more than 30 percent of the required rear yard.
  • Accessory structures in the rear 20 feet of the yard of a reverse corner lot must be at least 15 feet from the street side lot line.

Animal Keeping (§14.17.020) Household pets and bee keeping, up to certain limits, are allowed in all residential districts. An Administrative Use Permit is required to ensure the safe and healthy care of certain types of animals, such as horses.

Creeks and Wetlands (§14.16.080, §14.13.040B) In general, the setback for structures from a creek or the San Rafael Canal is 25 feet and the setback from a wetland is 50 feet.

Day Care (§14.04.020, §14.17.040) Small (up to 8 children or adults) family day care programs are allowed in all single-family districts. Large (9 to 14 children or adults) family day care programs for children require an Administrative Use Permit approved by the Planning Division. Large family day care programs for adults require a Use Permit approved by the Planning Commission. (Residents are counted toward the maximum number of people allowed to be cared for in a family day care program.) Day care centers (15 or more children or adults enrolled) are allowed with a Use Permit approved by the Planning Commission.

Decks (§14.03.030, 14.25.040) An Administrative Design Review Permit is required for construction of new deck area in hillside areas that exceed 30 inches above grade and more than 100 square feet.

Fences (§14.16.140) Front and street side yard fences and walls may be up to 4 feet in height provided they do not obstruct vehicle sight distance at driveways or intersections per §14.16.295. Side and rear yard fences may be up to 8 feet in height. Fences over 6 feet require an Administrative Design Review Permit. Fences for swimming pools, tennis courts or fences or vegetation near a street or driveway intersection are subject to additional review.

Hillside Residential (§14.16.200) New residences, additions over 500 square feet, and construction which increases the roof height in the Hillside Overlay District (-H) or on lots with an average slope over 25 percent are subject to the Hillside Residential Design Guidelines and require Environmental and Design Review Historic Preservation (§14.16.210) Modifications to homes on the City’s Architectural Survey may require an historic evaluation.

Home Occupations (§14.16.220) Businesses conducted in a residence may be permitted provided the residential character of the neighborhood is not changed, subject to the following: a) The use must be conducted by residents only; b) cannot occupy more than 25 percent of the residence; c) are prohibited in any accessory structure, RV or garage; d) no outdoor storage is allowed; e) no more than one client at a time on site; f) only one vehicle up to 2.5 gross tons unladen weight; g) a business license is required.

Landscaping Landscaping and vegetation should be maintained reduce fire hazards and/or harboring of rodents and insects. For “wildland-urban interface” areas contact the Fire Department.

Motor Vehicle Maintenance and Storage (§14.16.250) Vehicle repair and storage in residential districts are subject to the following: The vehicle is owned by the resident; no more than two vehicles are undergoing repair; work occurs between 9am-10pm; waste oils are properly collected and disposed of; vehicle(s) must be parked on a paved area; vehicle(s) (and parts) are stored in garage or approved paved area screened from view.

Noise (Chapter 8.13) Construction activities are permitted between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Construction activities are prohibited Sundays and holidays. For traffic safety reasons, garbage service may be necessary prior to 7 a.m.

Nonconforming Structures (§14.16.270C) Buildings which do not comply with current zoning regulations are considered nonconforming structures. A legally-built nonconforming house damaged or destroyed may be reconstructed to its original condition within a period of one year.

Parking (§14.18) Two covered parking spaces are required for a single-family residence. Driveways must have a minimum width of 10 feet and garages must be setback 20 feet from the property line. Minimum dimensions for carports and garages are: Carport Garage One-car 9’ x 19’ 10’ x 20’ Two-car 18’ x 19’ 20’ x 20’

Refuse Collection (§9.19) Every home is required to have weekly garbage collection service. Except for pick-up day, garbage cans may not be placed on the sidewalk or any other public right-of-way.

Residential Use of Vehicles (Chapter 8.30) A car may not be used for habitation or sleeping. A trailer, camper or RV may be used for sleeping purposes only (no use of cooking or sanitary facilities) for up to three successive nights in a 90-day period providing it is parked to the rear of the house and at least 5 feet from the property line or 10 feet to any building.

Ridgeline & Hillside Construction (See Hillside Guidelines Handout)

RV Parking (§14.18.190) Recreational vehicles should be parked perpendicular to the street. Parking parallel to the front property line and/or extending into the right-of-way is prohibited. RVs may be parked within the garage, driveway; between the driveway and side property line where the distance between the two is no more than 12 feet; in the side or rear yard if fenced; or on public right-of-way for not more than 72 hours.

Satellite Dishes (§14.16.280) One satellite dish in excess of 40 inches in diameter may be mounted on the ground of a residential lot in an area not visible from the street, finished in a color to blend in with the surroundings, and meeting specified setback requirements.

Second Dwelling Units (See Second Unit Handout)

Second Story Additions (§14.25.050F6) Upper story additions over 500 square feet in size and “lift-and-fill” modifications require a Design Review Permit reviewed by the Zoning Administrator. The Zoning Ordinance contains design requirements, which minimize the impact of additions and modifications on adjacent residences, and to ensure that the changes are compatible with the existing residence and neighborhood.

Small Wind Energy Systems (§14.16.305) Wind devices shall not exceed the height limit of the district (excluding the turbine) and setback a distance equal to at least ½ the total extended height (from grade or mounting point to the turbine blade tip at its highest point of travel. Access restrictions, noise limit compliance and minimum clearances apply.

Solar Installations (§14.16.307) Solar installations may be permitted by right on the roof of residential structures, subject to compliance with district height limits, and on the ground or in yard setbacks subject to review for compliance with the underlying district development standards and accessory structure provisions of SRMC 14.16.020.

Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs & Mechanical Equipment (§14.16.320) Swimming pools, hot tubs, and mechanical equipment cannot be located in a front or street side yard. See 14.16.020.2.C for in ground pool/spa setbacks. Equipment shall be at least 5 feet away from any property line and in a solid enclosure with baffles if located within 15 feet of a bedroom window on an adjacent lot. See Chapter 8.13 for noise thresholds.

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