We recently completed a conversion of a nearly 100 year old duplex back to it’s original single family home while also adding a two story addition for a master suite, master bath and nursery for a baby who arrived during the remodel.
This is a summary of the permitting requirements in San Rafael. An unusually fast office for any city, let alone Marin County!
We guarantee your project will be different! This is a great starting point if you are researching. Most people have never heard of all these permit requirements.
Here are our findings:
Q: What is the zoning district?
Q: What is the allowable coverage? How is it measured
Q: Is there a floor-area ratio (FAR) between the Main Home and the Second Unit? What is it?
Q: What is the maximum allowed size for the Second Unit?
Q: Do chimneys, window boxes, and/or bay windows count toward the square footage of the Second Unit?
Q: Do other structures count toward the existing footprint? What are they?
Q: Does the basement and/or attic count toward the floor area of the Main Home?
Q: Can the Second Unit have two floors?
Q: Can the Second Unit have a loft, mezzanine, open storage, closed storage, and/or attic?
Q: Can the loft be habitable space?
Q: Can the Second Unit have a basement, workspace, or other area? Do they count toward square footage?
Q: What landscaping requirements and exceptions are there
Q: Is this a liquefaction zone?
Q: Is this a fire zone?
Q: Is this a flood zone?
Q: Is this an environmental zone?
Setbacks and Dimensions
Q: What is the front setback?
Q: What are the side setbacks?
Q: What is the rear setback?
Q: What are any other required setbacks? Special setbacks may be needed for creeks, power lines, key or corner lots, etc.
Q: Are there any setback exceptions?
Q: Can the Second Unit be connected to the Main Home? If not, how far apart do they have to be?
Q: Can we continue a wall of an existing structure within a setback? Is there a maximum length for walls
Q: What is the maximum height limit? Is there a max average height limit? Can we match the height of the existing house?
Q: Do we measure from the sidewalk, the property line, or from somewhere else?
Q: How many parking spaces are required for the Main Home? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have?
Q: How many more new spaces are required for the property? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have? Do they require a border around them?
Q: Is there a turning radius or other parking rule to test?
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