Carriage Houses and Second Dwelling Units of San Ramon

The City of San Ramon is seeking to amend their development standards to encourage more second dwelling units.  According to their housing element, the city will revise the zoning ordinance to facilitate second unit development.  Specifically, 50 second dwelling units within the 2014-2022 housing element planning period.

What qualifies as a second dwelling unit per the city’s standards? Although the terms are used somewhat interchangeably in the city’s planning code, a carriage house is a type of second unit located on an upper floor above

Carriage House
Carriage House

the detached garage of a single family dwelling.   A second dwelling unit is the comprehensive term.  According to the city’s definition, a second dwelling unit is:

“A second permanent dwelling that is accessory to a primary dwelling on the same site.  A second unit or carriage house provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, sanitation, and parking, and if attached to the primary dwelling, is provided exterior access separate from the primary dwelling.”

Here are a few of the requirements related to second dwelling units in San Ramon, though we recommend you review the zoning ordinance for the most accurate definition, requirements, variances and exceptions:

  • Whether it’s attached or detached, second dwelling can range from 350 – 1,200 sq ft, but no larger than 35% of main house (whichever is less)
  • If attached, setback min is 15’-0”, but if detached, this reduced to 7’-0”
  • Maximum height is 35’-0”
  • New address assignment is required
    • Separate water meter is required for a new address
  • Must pay sewer connection fee and school district fees
  • 1 additional parking is required
  • No design review if the dwelling is a single-story structure, but must pay a $300 fee for a 2-story unit

Verify with the Planning Division to confirm your requirements in your zoning district. Learn more about transforming your home by learning about our process, read our client stories or contact us today if you are interested in building your own second dwelling unit, carriage house or other home project.

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