Building and Development Standards

Frequently ​Asked Questions

The information listed herein is intended​ for general information purposes only and should not be used in place of adopted County ordinances and regulations. Please contact the Office of Planning and Environmental Review at for information regarding specific regulations or before submitting an application.​ Alternatively, you may schedule an appointment​ with the Planning front counter of the Building Assistance Center.​

Please review our Residential​ Accessory Uses webpage. An Accessory Dwelling Unit, commonly known as a “granny-flat" or “mother-in-law's quarters" is allowed up to 850 square-feet if one bedroom or 1,000 square-feet if two bedrooms or more in most zones.

Yes. Please review Accessory Dwelling Units for development standards and permitting requirements.​

Yes. In most cases, manufactured homes are allowed as either a primary residence or an accessory dwelling unit, subject to the standards of Sacramento County Zoning Code Section 3.5.1.E., which can be found in Chapt​er 3 of the Zoning Code​​​​.​​

Tiny homes, or homes that are either moveable or much smaller than average single-family dwellings, are not allowed unless they are placed on a permanent foundation and meet residential building codes.

Yes. In most cases, you may construct a detached garage, subject to the required development standards for setbacks, size, and height requirements. Please review our Residential Accessory Structures webpage​ for more information.​

Yes. Please contact Building Permits and Inspections at (916) 875-5599 for information regarding necessary permits. ​

Yes. Please contact Building Permits and Inspections at (916) 875-5599 for information regarding necessary permits.

Duplexes or halfplexes are allowed by right in the RD-10 zone, the RD-15 through RD-40 zones, and in the RM-2 zone. A duplex or halfplex is allowed by right on corner lots in the RD-5 zone. A Use Permit by the Zoning Administrator is required to allow duplexes or halfplexe​s on interior lots in the RD-5 zone.

Pursuant to Sacramento County Zoning Co​de Section 5.2.5.B., fences in the front yard (i.e. first 20 feet from the back of the sidewalk) generally must adhere to the following regulations:

  • ​Solid walls cannot exceed three  feet in height.
  • Semi-open fencing, such as picket fencing or chain link fencing, cannot exceed four feet in height.
  • Open fencing, such as wrought-iron, cannot exceed seven feet in height. 
Side-street yard fences cannot exceed seven feet in height, measured from the elevation of the sidewalk, or if no sidewalk, the road.  Please review Zonin​g Code Section 5.2.5.B​. for exceptions and more regulations. 

Code Enforcemen​t has provides additional information in their Fencing Brochure.

Setback requirements for the construction of new structures or for the modification of existing structures depends on the Zoning and proposed use of the structure. Below is a listing of the most commonly referenced Development Standards Sections below along with the appropriate Zoning​ Co​de​ Section​​​​​:​

  • Accessory Structures in Agricultural and Agricultural Residential Zones (Section 5.3.2.C.) – see page 5-32
  • Commercial Development Standards (Section 5.5.2.A.) – see page 5-55
  • Industrial Development Standards (Section 5.6.2.A.) – see page 5-60
  • Multifamily Development Standards (Section 5.4.3.C.) – see page 5-42
  • ​Single-Family Development Standards (​Section 5.4.2.C.) – see page 5-37

Please note that if your project is located within a Neighborhood Preservation Area (NPA), Special Planning Area (SPA), Specific Plan, Combining Zone, or Planned Unit Development (PUD) your setbacks may be different than the standards listed in the Zoning Code sections listed above.​ Please email if your property is located within an NPA, SPA, Specific Plan, Combining Zone, PUD, or if you have questions.

Development Standards are specific regulations, codes, or policies that dictate how you may develop a property. Cha​pter 5 of the Sacramento County ​Zoning Code​​​​​​​ contains most of the Development Standards for structures and development within Sacramento County. ​​​

The development standards (setbacks, height restrictions, etc.) ca​n be found in Chapter 5 of the Zoning Code​​:

  • Commercial Development Standards (Section 5.5.2)
  •  Industr​ial Develo​pment Standards (Section 5.6.2.​A)

Height requirements can be found in Chapter 5 of the Sacramento County Zoning Code​​​​​​. Typical single-family residential homes can be up to 30 feet tall. Residential accessory structures are typically required to be 16 feet tall or less. Please contact us at sacplan@saccounty.​gov​ to verify height requirements in all zoning districts.

Please contact the Building Permits and Inspection division at (916) 875-5599 to request historical building permits.

The Office of Planning and Environmental Review does not prepare or provide site plans or plot plans.