- Is Storing Unregistered or Inoperable Vehicles Permitted?
- Is it Legal to Live in a Recreational Vehicle (RV)?
1. Is Storing Unregistered or Inoperable Vehicles Permitted?
No, with a few exceptions (see below). It is unlawful to park or store, or permit others to park or store, automotive vehicles or 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 of a fully enclosed building, if all of the following conditions are met:
- The parcel size is 10,000 square feet or larger, for the first vehicle and an additional 5,000 square feet is required for the second vehicle.
- Vehicles are the legal property of the persons who reside in the on-site dwelling, as evidenced by a certificate of ownership issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Vehicles shall not be stored in the front yard or side-street yards.
- Vehicles shall be stored behind a 6 foot high 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)
2. Is Yard Parking Permitted?
No. In residential uses, 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:
- 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).
- For residential parcels that are 15,000 square feet in size or greater, the surfacing may also be constructed of 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)
3. Is Parking a Commercial Work Vehicle at Home Permitted?
No. Motor vehicles and equipment used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of ten thousand pounds or more, and trailers used for, or designed primarily for, commercial, industrial or agricultural purposes, cannot be parked or stored on any agricultural-residential, residential or interim residential zoned property except when loading, unloading, or rendering service.
(See Section 5.9.3.E.1.a of the Zoning Code)
The Sacramento County Zoning Code does not allow for anyone to occupy a recreational vehicle on residential property. RVs may only be lived in while at a specially designated and permitted RV or trailer park located in Recreation zones or a General Commercial zone, provided that the property has a Conditional Use Permit on file with the Planning department to conduct that use. If constructing a new single-family dwelling, you may also obtain a temporary use permit to reside in a recreational vehicle for up to one year while the home is constructed. The occupancy must cease within 30 days of the issuance of the final building permit.