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Ask MIAMILAW1127 Your Own Question
MIAMILAW1127, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 755
Experience:  Founding Partner at Moises Law, P.A.
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I live at and own xxxx xxxx, xxxx which is zoned single

Customer Question

I live at and own xxxx xxxx, xxx xxxx which is zoned for a single family residence? What are the occupancy details and restrictions for a "single family residence"?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Typically, single family residence means a structure maintained and used as a single dwelling unit. Even though a dwelling unit shares one or more walls with another dwelling unit, it is a single family residence if it has direct access to a street or thoroughfare and does not share heating facilities, hot water equipment, nor any other essential facility or service with any other dwelling unit.

California code defines a "single-family residential real property" means any real property that is improved with, or consisting of, a building containing not more than one unit that is intended for human habitation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, this isn't actually what I asked. I asked for occupancy details and restrictions for a single family residence. Like what does single family actually mean? Does this include grandparents, cousins, step family? How many people define a family? I also gave my exact address for Marin County/City specific regulations. We are agriculturally zoned in Marin County.
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

Single family is not defined by the people that live inside of the property. For example, you can have a 4 bedroom single-family home where each room is rented to a different person none of which is related to the other and the property is considered a single-family residence.

Single-family is determined by the structure, not inhabitants.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok great! So what are the limitations of what can be structurally done to a single family residence? Number of kitchens? Number of garage spaces? Bathrooms?Are there any rental restrictions to a single family residence in this location?
Expert:  MIAMILAW1127 replied 1 year ago.

The structural limitations are fairly broad. You just need to make sure that the structure maintains the "one unit" appearance. If you section the property in such a way that it gives the impression that it is actually multiple separate units within the same dwelling, you can lose the single family residence label.

For example, if you add two kitchens it could be argued that it is no longer a single family residence if you rent it out and half the house uses one kitchen and the other half uses the other. This would appear to be two separate units in the same building. The same is true for garage spaces. If you have 4 rooms, 4 spaces would not change the classification. However, if you have 4 rooms, 7 bathrooms, two kitchens, and 8 spaces you will run into a problem.

As far as bathrooms, the same is not applicable. You can literally have more bathrooms than actual rooms and not have an issue.

What would limit the construction of the single family property won't be the definition of what is considered single family, but the local building code. For this, you will need to speak to a contractor to tell you what you can physically put in the space you have and still be in line with the building code.