Piedmont may be known as a small city (just 11,000 people!) that’s packed with mansions. But it’s not just an enclave for the wealthy and in fact that city has very progressive and welcoming codes in regards to accessory dwellings or guest houses.
In fact, many of the homes scattered throughout Piedmont have guest houses that are home to a diverse group of people.
Check out the City Code Section 17.40 for definitions, requirements, and exemptions on everything Second Unit related.
Section 17.40.6 defines the standards. Here are a few. There are also variances and exceptions in the code.
The second unit shall not exceed 700 square feet.
The total floor area of habitable structures on the lot with an existing primary residence shall comply with the floor area ratio requirements of this Chapter for the zone in which the property is located.
The lot on which the second unit is located must comply with the lot coverage requirements of this Chapter for the zone in which it is located.
For new construction, the dimensions of the front, side and rear yards of the lot must conform to the setback requirements of this Chapter 17 the zone in which it is located.
The lot on which the proposed second unit is located must contain the required number of covered, non-tandem parking spaces for both the primary and the second units, as set forth in Section 17.16.1.
Except for an exempt second unit, the owner of a second unit must occupy either the primary unit or the second unit, if both units are used for habitation. The owner shall record with the County Recorder a declaration of restrictions, in a form provided by the City.
Clearly, a lot depends whatever zone the unit will be located. For example, Zone E, which covers single family residential development includes:
- Max height of 35’;
- For primary structures, front, side, and rear setbacks of 20’
- If accessory structure unit is 7′ high or smaller: Location must be no less than 4′ from rear lot line, no less than 20′ from front lot line or side street lot line
- If accessory structure unit is above 7′ high: Location can be within 4′ from rear lot line subject to Staff Design Review
- If the lot is a corner lot or through lot, the accessory structure can be within the 20′ front and street side setbacks
You can find Piedmont’s Second Unit Permit here.