City of Pacifica – Second Units by the Seashore


pacifica-surfWell known for it’s beautiful ocean views and as a popular spot for surfers, the city of Pacifica is also shoring up a plan to encourage the number of second units to expand the city’s housing stock.  In fact, Pacifica’s zoning regulations allow the construction of second units “by right” or subject only to issuance of a building permit in many situations within the R 1 zoning district in full conformance to development standards.  The planning department’s 2015 objectives include: “encourage construction of two second residential units per year”.

A “second unit” is considered a detached or attached dwelling unit which provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons. A second unit shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel or parcels as the primary unit is situated. Here is some basic info on secondary units, but we encourage you to further review the municipal code for the most accurate definition, requirements, variances and exceptions:

  • The property shall be zoned R-1, owner-occupied and lots at least 5,000 sq ft
  • The second unit standard size can be expanded from 750 sq ft to 850 if intended disabled occupants
  • The minimum parking requirement for the second residential unit shall be one uncovered on-site space, plus either one parking space on the street in front of the lot, or one additional uncovered on-site space
  • An outside entrance shall be provided for the second unit, independent from the entrance for the primary unit.

Verify with the Planning Division to confirm your requirements for your home, or call New Avenue.  Learn more about accessory dwellings, remodels and major home renovations by learning about our process, read our client stories or contact us today if you are interested in pursuing your own home project.

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