Minimum lot size for zoning

2 Replies


We recently saw a property with a lot size of 6,600sq ft but is zoned R3. It has a 1200sq ft house in the front and 730sq ft work shed with a garage in the back which the current owner has grandfathered. According to the new zoning requirements, R3 should have atleast 10,000sq ft otherwise R3 reverts to R2. But R2 requires atleast 7000sq ft otherwise it reverts to R1. So now this property is considered as R1 and only a SFH is allowed. But the recent laws in California legalized additional dwelling unit (ADU).

Does the shed qualify as an existing living unit? Also, it is very close to the back of the house. Any idea on the maximum square footage that can be added to an ADU?




The new ADU law covers all of California, but each city gets to determine it's own regulations. So, the answer depends on what city the property is in.

In general:

1. The ADU can be up to 750 sq ft.

2. All of the cities I am aware of restrict rentals on the property unless the owner is living in one of the units. So, you can turn a single family home in to a duplex and rent out both units.

The set backs, parking requirements, fees, etc are determined by the individual city.

What this means investment wise is homes with the potential for an ADU are great for flips, but not good if you are trying to buy a rental property.

Thank you Marcy for the response. Coincidentally the property is in Mountain View :)

I spoke with the city planner and they said an ADU can't be built since it is zoned R2 and duplex can't be built since the lot size is less than 7000 sq ft. so only a single dwelling can exist. This seems unfair but that is how it is currently and they can't change the zoning just for 1 property. :(

Just hoping that the city will relax the ADU rules in future.

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