Vehicles

Frequently Asked Questions

The zoning where your home is located determines the allowance to store commercial vehicles.

  • Agricultural, Agricultural-Residential, and Recreation Zones
  • No motor vehicle or equipment used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 1 ton or more, and no trailer used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes, shall be parked or stored on any agricultural-residential, residential, interim residential or recreation zoned property except when loading, unloading, or rendering service, except as provided in #2 and #3 below.
  • A vehicle used for agricultural purposes may be parked or stored in the buildable area or rear yard of a parcel or lot in the agricultural-residential and agricultural zones, on which there is not less than five (5) acres devoted to agricultural use.
  • In agricultural zoning districts, the storage, maintenance, and repair of trucks and truck trailers used for commercial or industrial purposes with a manufacturer's gross vehicle rating of 10,000 pounds or more in any agricultural or interim agricultural zoning district shall be permitted subject to the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit by the Planning Commission.

Residential Zones

  • ​No motor vehicle or equipment used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more, and no trailer used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes, shall be parked or stored on any residential or interim residential zoned property except when loading, unloading, or rendering service.

No, with a few exceptions (see below). It is unlawful to park or store, or permit others to park or store, automotive vehicles and trailers without current registration or in an inoperable condition on any lot in any residential, interim-residential, interim-estate, recreation, agricultural, interim-agricultural, or agricultural-residential zone unless they are stored in a fully enclosed building. 

This answer does not apply to commercial or industrial zones. 

  • Storage of up to two vehicles "may" be allowed outside a fully enclosed building if all of the following conditions are met:
  • The parcel size is 10,000 square feet or larger, for the fist vehicle and an additional 5,000 square feet is required for the second one.
  • Vehicles are the legal property of the persons who reside on the property, as evidenced by a certificate of ownership issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Vehicles shall not be stored in the front or side-street yards.
  • Vehicles shall be stored behind a six foot, solid wood fence and not be visible from any public street.
  • For purposes of this Section, “unregistered vehicles” includes any vehicle that is considered non-operational pursuant to a current certificate of non-operation (PNO) issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of the State of California. (See Section 3.9.3.P & 5.9.1.G of the Zoning Code)

No. In residential zones, vehicles cannot be parked on the grassy or unsurfaced area of your front or side-street yard. Generally, your front yard is the area between the front lot line and the front wall of the primary dwelling that is furthest from the front lot line, and your side-street yard is the area from the side-street lot line and the side wall of the primary dwelling that is the furthest from the side-street lot line. Vehicles parked beyond this area are ok. 

To park vehicles in the front or side-street yard, the following surfacing requirements must be met: 

  1. For residential parcels that are less than 15,000 square feet in size, the surfacing must be impervious (consist of asphalt, concrete, grouted continuous brick or cobblestone, for example).
  2. For residential parcels that are 15,000 square feet in size or greater, the surfacing may also use permeable dust-free options such as gravel or similar materials.

In addition, there are limitations to how much of the property can to be turned into parking areas. Both the total paved area and/or parking area in the front or side street yard is limited to no more than the greater of the following:

  • 40% of the land area between the front lot line and the front wall of the primary dwelling that is furthest from the front lot line; or
  • The area leading directly to a carport or enclosed garage. (See Section 5.9.3.C.1. of the Zoning Code​

Abandoned vehicles are subject to removal from a public right-of-way after 72 hours without being moved.

​The procedures are as follows:

  1. A complaint is received
  2. An Officer investigates the complaint:
    a. If there is no violation, the case is closed 
    b. If the vehicle is gone on arrival, the case is closed
    c. If the vehicle is abandoned, wrecked or dismantled, the vehicle is posted with a 72-hour notice of intent to abate (remove)​
    d. If the vehicle poses a threat to public health or safety, the vehicle can be immediately towed​
  3. Upon re-inspection:
    a. If the vehicle is brought into voluntary compliance, the case is closed
    b. If the vehicle has not been brought into compliance, the vehicle may be towed and fees imposed

Dismantled shall mean the condition of a vehicle which has been taken apart, or disassembled into pieces, and/or stripped, or otherwise deprived of any of its integral parts or equipment. (See Section 6.56.120 of the Sacramento County Code)

A wrecked vehicle consists of disordered or broken remains, or which has been brought to a physically impaired or unsound condition, or other ruinous state by reason of collision, crash or forceful impact. (See Section 6.56.140 of the Sacramento County Code)

Abandoned is the status of a vehicle when the vehicle owner has ceased to assert or exercise any interest, right or title to such vehicle. (See Section 6.56.110 of the Sacramento County Code)

Inoperative refers to the condition of a vehicle which is physically incapable of working, functioning, or otherwise operating. (See Section 6.56.130 of the Sacramento County Code)

Major body and engine work and repairs to automobiles, other passenger vehicles, or boats is not permitted in residential areas.

It is unlawful to perform these type of repairs in any zone, other than the GC, M-1 or M-2 zone, subject to use standards, or the LC zone subject to a Use Permit from the Zoning Administrator.​

  • Brake part replacement
  • minor tune-ups
  • change of oil and filter
  • repair of flat tires
  • lubrications, and other similar operations are permitted in residential areas.

Sacramento County has adopted an ordinance to abate (remove) vehicles which have been deemed a public nuisance. Nuisance vehicles include abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, inoperative, unregistered (in excess of six months) and unmoved (for more than 72 hours) vehicles. 

The California Vehicle Code allows County governments to establish procedures for the abatement and removal of vehicles, or parts thereof, from the public right-of-way. It also allows for the recovery of costs associated with vehicle abatement. (See Sacramento County Code section 6.18.601 & 10.24.070 and Section 22660 of the California Vehicle Code)

The presence, accumulation and storage of abandoned, wrecked, dismantled, or inoperative vehicles creates conditions likely to reduce the value of real property in the area, promote blight and deterioration, attract crime, create a fire hazard and harborage for rodents and insects, and is injurious to the public peace, health, safety and general welfare. (See Section 6.56.010 of the Sacramento County Code)

The chemicals involved in major automotive repair can pollute our neighborhoods and endanger the health and well-being of our residents.

Furthermore, this kind of activity increases vehicle traffic and the visual impact can negatively impact property values. 

No person shall park or store a vehicle upon any highway or alley for more than seventy-two consecutive hours, or move and re-park such vehicle on any highway within three hundred feet of the original parking site, unless such vehicle is maintained in an operable condition and was actually driven.  (See Section 10.24.070 of the Sacramento County Code)