Residential Regulations

The Pleasanton Municipal Code is a body of law that, among other things, regulates the manner in which a property owner can develop his or her property and the types of uses allowed on that property. This information has been prepared by the Planning Department of the City of Pleasanton to assist the property owner in understanding the regulations contained in the Code, particularly with regard to structures and parking.

Regulations for Structures & Yards in the R-1-6,500 & R-1-7,500 Zoning Districts

All of the following items, except for fences 6 feet or lower, require Planning Department approvals and/or building permits prior to construction:

  • Additions to the main structure (house) must normally maintain a 20 foot rear yard setback. Certain one-story additions may come to within 15 feet of the rear property line, provided that there remain a single, unobstructed open space with an area equal to 1,040 square feet (R-1-6,500), or 1,120 square feet (R-1-7,500), which has a minimum dimension of not less than 15 feet. All additions require City administrative design review approval.
  • Maximum height for any accessory structure (shed, pool house, play house, etc.) is 15 feet. Any structure over 10 feet in height requires City administrative design review approval.
  • Maximum height for a fence in a required yard is normally 6 feet, except that no fence greater than 30 inches in height is allowed in the required front yard setback. Fences up to 8 feet may be allowed subject to City administrative design review approval.
  • On the street side of a corner lot, fences, walls, or hedges may come no closer than 10 feet to the side property line, except that such structures may come to within 5 feet from the side property line between the rear property line and a point set back 15 feet from the front corner of the residence closest to the side street, provided that the structure does not pose a traffic sight obstruction.
  • Patio covers may come to within 5 feet from the rear property line and 3 feet from the side property line if open on three sides, but must be kept 12 feet from the rear property line and 5 feet from the side property line if enclosed on more than one side.
  • Raised decks less than 6 feet in height (including railings) must be kept 3 feet from any property line.
  • Skateboard ramps are prohibited within a public right-of-way or in any front yard and require a conditional use permit. Please contact the Planning Department for details.
  • Swimming pools and in-ground spas must be kept 5 feet from any property line (as measured from the pool water line), and portable, cord-connected spas must be kept 3 feet from any property line, except on the street side of a corner lot, where the minimum side yard setback for any pool or spa is 10 feet. No setback is required for pool equipment unless it is located within the required side yard setback adjacent to the main structure (house), where a 3 foot setback must be maintained. Pool equipment must be operated in compliance with the noise limits established in Section 20.40.135 of the Municipal Code.

Regulations Related to Vehicle Parking

  • Camper shells, trailers, and boats may not be stored in the required front yard or required side yard on the street side of a corner lot.
  • No trailer, camper, or boat may be stored in other areas of a lot unless adequately screened from view from the street.
  • No truck or bus larger than one-ton capacity and no trailer longer than 25 feet shall be parked or stored on any site.

Required Yards (Setbacks) in the R-1-6,500 & R-1-7,500 Zoning Districts

  • Front Yard: The area 23 feet in depth between the front property line and a line parallel thereto on the property. The front property line is normally the edge of the sidewalk closest to the house. A front yard includes the driveway area.
  • Rear Yard: The area 20 feet in depth between the rear property line and a line parallel thereto on the property.
  • Side Yard: The area between a side property line and a line parallel thereto on the property having a minimum width of 5 feet on one side of the lot and a total width of 12 feet (R-1-6,500) or 14 feet (R-1-7,500) for both sides. On the street side of a corner lot, the side yard shall not be less than 10 feet.

The information related to structures and yards pertains generally to residential lots in the R-1-6,500 and R-1-7,500 zoning districts. Setbacks and other site development standards may vary slightly for lots in other residential districts and in planned unit developments (PUD's). For further information, and for exceptions to some of the preceding requirements, please call or visit the Planning Department, City Hall, 200 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton (931-5483).

Other Items of Note

  • Trees on private property are the property owner's responsibility. "Heritage trees" are defined as being 55" in circumference at a point 30" from the ground or 35 feet in height. "Heritage trees" on both public and private property are protected by City ordinance and require City approval prior to removal.
  • The use of a residence for any business purpose is regulated.
  • Large family daycare homes (with between 7 and 12 children) require conditional use permit approval by the City in addition to State licensing requirements.
  • Second units or "granny flats" on single-family residential lots require conditional use permit approval by the City.

Please contact the Planning Department for further information on any of these regulations.

Definitions

  • Structure: Anything constructed on the ground, including any building or swimming pool, but not including simple paved or concrete areas, or any fence or wall no greater than 6 feet in height.
  • Main Structure: A structure housing the principal use of a site, such as a residence. A main structure may not encroach into a required yard.
  • Class I Accessory Structure: Any subordinate structure on a lot with a height greater than 6 feet or an area greater than 80 square feet. A Class I accessory structure may come no closer than 3 feet to a side property line and 5 feet to a rear property line.
  • Class II Accessory Structure: Any subordinate structure 6 feet or less in height and less than 80 square feet in area. A Class II accessory structure may adjoin a property line but may not be attached to a fence.