Home Size Restrictions-Floor Area Ratio

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option


Home Size Restrictions or Floor Area Ratio Policy Proposal

On Tuesday, June 18 the Planning Commission recommended that the City Council adopt home size restrictions for City Council consideration. The recommended restrictions would apply to all single-family projects, and would set a cap of 40% of the lot area or a house size of 2,500 square feet, whichever is greater.

Potential exceptions to what is included in the calculation of floor area, could include basements that are fully below grade, detached structures including Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and architectural features like bay windows, unenclosed decks, front porches, and balconies, etc. 

The City Council will consider these restrictions at their August 26 meeting.

Based on the new proposal, home limit impacts could potentially be seen in the following neighborhoods:

Homes above FAR

What does this proposal mean?

Floor Area Ratio is the ratio of the total building size in proportion to the lot size. The total covered area of all floors of a single-family home which includes attached garages, measured to the outside of stud walls. A limit as outlined above on house size would mean that home owners already above the proposed established restriction, would not be able to expand their home outside of the specific exemptions listed.  

City Council Phased Approach to Preserve Affordability and Architecture Character of Redwood City Neighborhoods

Other Helpful Documents

Planning Commission Recommendations to ADU Changes, Home Size Limits and Residential Design Guidelines Next Steps blog, go hereNEW!

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) Fact Sheet

Planning Commission Meeting Documents from the June 18, 2019 Meeting

Planning Commission Staff Report 

Draft Resolution

For the meeting video, go here.

For other meeting documents and details, go here


Planning Commission Meeting Documents from the May 21, 2019 Meeting 

Planning Commission Staff Report 


Other Helpful Links

Accessory Dwelling Units 

Residential Design Guidelines

Single Family Development

Multifamily Housing Development

Online Mapping Tools