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Old 12-06-2009, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Oak View
37 posts, read 76,566 times
Reputation: 21
Default anyone living in or know someone living in a travel trailer

We intended to have a granny shack built on our property for my mom to live in but we just found out that unless our lot is at least 10,000 sq. feet then no additional permanent structure is allowed. Which is so odd to me since our lot is 7500 sq. feet and our house is super tiny, only 943 sq. feet. It is also at the very back of the lot so we have 5000 sq. feet of nothing but yard that we could build a small home on. We were told this did not matter for a "permanent" structure.

SO......we are now looking into putting a 10 x 25, or smaller, travel trailer on our lot. Since we can't do anything that would make it a "permanent" home we have no idea how to go about hooking it up to sewer, gas, etc. My mom is on a limited income, we have room on our lot for a 2nd unit and it is maddening that we are now having to figure out what to do that will be livable for her but not considered permanent by the county!!!!

Does anyone know the rules on a travel trailer? Does anyone know of anyone with a similar situation?

Thanks
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:43 AM
Status: "real men meet face to face..." (set 1 day ago)
 
445 posts, read 1,119,630 times
Reputation: 556
You Will need to confirm this with your county..

In the case of Shasta you can TEMPORARILY live in a travel trailer while building a residence.. a separate permit is required... beyond your DMV registration

As soon as you hook into utilities I believe the county would red tag you and declare it uninhabitable and in violation of your original building permit

Up here people try to live permanently in travel trailers on private property and get tagged all the time

You can try it illegally and see if you get caught.. it all depends upon your neighbors and how aggressive the building inspectors are in your county

there are many good reason for WHY travel trailers are not acceptable permanent dwellings
safety,,,
health,,
environment..
neighborhood quality...

It is unfortunate that your zoning does not allow more than one residence... but it is what it is and is the law in California... it has to do with density and sewage etc... I think its a sound practice otherwise we would be third world very quickly

sorry

notme
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Central Coast
2,014 posts, read 3,299,559 times
Reputation: 739
That 10,000 sq ft requirement seems picky to me, most lots are about a 1/4 acre,
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Ojai
98 posts, read 400,717 times
Reputation: 99
Don't put a travel trailer in until you get all your ducks in a row. The likelihood is that the you won't be able to legally have somebody living in your trailer,and since your relationship with your next door neighbor sounds less than ideal, chances are you'd get turned in. Research it with the County of Ventura.
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Oak View
37 posts, read 76,566 times
Reputation: 21
Gidget..you must seen my with my fence line issue that I also have posted on this site...yes, i do have the fence issue with my neighbor, which is why we really were trying to do everything the "right" way. In our quest for knowledge, ha ha, we found out that the fence lady did NOT get a permit for her converted garage, so at we least we can use that as ammo if she tries to say or do anything to us on this granny flat issue or anything else for that matter!

Clarks...I was a bit miffed by the 10,000 sq. feet as well. I mean, in new subdivisions there are HUGE houses on lots that are less than 3000 sq. feet, so WHY it is not legal for me to put two small homes on a lot that is 7500 sq. feet doesn't seem right. I have contacted the State Housing and Urban Development dept. to see what loopholes or provisions/exclusions, if any, are made for large lots with small homes on them and putting in a second unit for an aging parent!
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:12 PM
 
13,380 posts, read 24,303,956 times
Reputation: 7633
California has a law permitting Granny Flats... a friend had to do battle with his city and won... 3 years later he has just completed it.

From memory, the flat must be attached, be no more that 800 square ft... etc...

The main thing is attached. The real provision of the law is it lets you have a second kitchen...

With so much land, why don't you just add on to your home and have an internal doorway separating the units... add a bathroom and a wet bar so the plumbing is already in place for a kitchen sink.

Some areas won't even let you park a RV for more than 72 hours and none I know in the city limits allow habitation for more than 72 hours.

My brother lived in one for his college years and it was very nice... he could do it because the land is zoned Agricultural...

Your biggest problem is it only takes one call to code enforcement from a neighbor...
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Oak View
37 posts, read 76,566 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
California has a law permitting Granny Flats... a friend had to do battle with his city and won... 3 years later he has just completed it.

From memory, the flat must be attached, be no more that 800 square ft... etc...

The main thing is attached. The real provision of the law is it lets you have a second kitchen...

With so much land, why don't you just add on to your home and have an internal doorway separating the units... add a bathroom and a wet bar so the plumbing is already in place for a kitchen sink.

Some areas won't even let you park a RV for more than 72 hours and none I know in the city limits allow habitation for more than 72 hours.

My brother lived in one for his college years and it was very nice... he could do it because the land is zoned Agricultural...

Your biggest problem is it only takes one call to code enforcement from a neighbor...
Can you tell me what county you are in? I am in Ventura county and our zoning is probably different. I was told that even if we attached/added on to our existing home we would still not be allow have a 2nd kitchen.
We want my mom to have an actual home/apartment with a real kitchen and a real bathroom. Attached is fine...but we still want a kitchen for her.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,651 posts, read 6,649,745 times
Reputation: 3147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coletta View Post
Can you tell me what county you are in? I am in Ventura county and our zoning is probably different. I was told that even if we attached/added on to our existing home we would still not be allow have a 2nd kitchen.
We want my mom to have an actual home/apartment with a real kitchen and a real bathroom. Attached is fine...but we still want a kitchen for her.
Yeah,

As a former Real Estate appraiser I have seen a lot of coversions, add ons, etc... Some legal some not. My recommendation is to try to improve the existing dwelling. So make it attached. And then figure out the finer details of what basic sort of kitchen she really would need. You could for example add in a nice Wet Bar area which normally has most of the basics anyway - sink, fridge, counter space, etc... Then of course you could bring in a microwave or whatever small appliance looks reasonable. A large stovetop oven is probably the only thing that would be questionable due to safety issues, the need for ventilation, etc...

But that solution gets you a lot closer to your goal than a trailer which may not fly with the neighbors or second small building which changes your property to a duplex. That becomes a city zoning issue at that point. It is more logical to improve the primary residence whenever possible. That also adds the most value and equity to the home if/when you decide to sell. So it is the best bang for your buck IMO. And it is the most aesthetically pleasing.

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 12-09-2009 at 10:19 AM..
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: here
16,822 posts, read 13,409,714 times
Reputation: 13466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coletta View Post
We intended to have a granny shack built on our property for my mom to live in but we just found out that unless our lot is at least 10,000 sq. feet then no additional permanent structure is allowed. Which is so odd to me since our lot is 7500 sq. feet and our house is super tiny, only 943 sq. feet. It is also at the very back of the lot so we have 5000 sq. feet of nothing but yard that we could build a small home on. We were told this did not matter for a "permanent" structure.

SO......we are now looking into putting a 10 x 25, or smaller, travel trailer on our lot. Since we can't do anything that would make it a "permanent" home we have no idea how to go about hooking it up to sewer, gas, etc. My mom is on a limited income, we have room on our lot for a 2nd unit and it is maddening that we are now having to figure out what to do that will be livable for her but not considered permanent by the county!!!!

Does anyone know the rules on a travel trailer? Does anyone know of anyone with a similar situation?

Thanks
check with your planning/building department. It might not be allowed. If it is, they will probably have you install a dump station on your property. Or, they might allow it as a "temporary second residence." Rules vary from place to place, though.
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:54 PM
 
13,380 posts, read 24,303,956 times
Reputation: 7633
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coletta View Post
Can you tell me what county you are in? I am in Ventura county and our zoning is probably different. I was told that even if we attached/added on to our existing home we would still not be allow have a 2nd kitchen.
We want my mom to have an actual home/apartment with a real kitchen and a real bathroom. Attached is fine...but we still want a kitchen for her.
I can do better than that... but to answer your question the ones I personally know are in Alameda, Contra Costa and Sonoma Counties...

Some were very difficult to get approval and took a lot of persistence relying on the State Law I posted below... one required the threat of a lawsuit before approval was granted.

Here is the Law that forced the issue Statewide:

http://www.hcd.ca.gov/hpd/hpd_memo_ab1866.pdf

And here is info on Ojai:

Granny Flats

Here is a story about San Diego:

Granny Flat Issue in San Diego
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