Residential Small Lot Ordinance

Residential Small Lot Ordinance 

On April 27, 2021, the Rosemead City Council adopted Ordinance No. 998Residential Small Lot Ordinance (Small Lot Ordinance) which amended various sections of the Rosemead Municipal Code Title 17 by defining and establishing standards to allow the construction of homes on small lots with fee-simple ownership in the Medium Multiple Residential (R-3) zone. The Small Lot Ordinance creates incentives for infill residential development in areas zoned for multi-family to spur more fee-simple housing production and will not increase the allowed density permitted in the R-3 zone. The goal is to create new homeownership opportunities compared to that of traditional single-family homes or condominiums.


Small Lot Subdivision is a type of development that constructs free-standing townhome style single-family homes on lots that are smaller than conventional single-family lots. Unlike apartments, which are rented, or condominiums, which come with condominium fees and assessments, the houses on Small Lots are owned in fee-simple title. Common areas like driveways or open spaces are governed by a simple maintenance agreement rather than a homeowner's association (HOA). Small Lot developments increase homeownership opportunities while working within existing land use designations. Because these units are fee-simple, homeowners acquire ownership of the housing structure, as well as the land on which it is built. When the amount of land needed for housing construction is decreased, the savings in land costs can be passed on to the homebuyer.




Are Small Lots allowed in all zones?

No. Small Lots are proposed in R-3 zone only.

Do Small Lots increase the density?

No. The 1,500 sq. ft. lot area/unit requirement will not change.

What is the intent of the Small Lot Ordinance?

R-3 zone already allows townhome condominiums. The Small Lots gives an opportunity for the homeowner to own the land underneath their unit (fee-simple).

Does the building height increase?

No. The current 3-story and 35 ft. limit would not change.

Do the building setbacks from property lines change?

No. The front, side & rear perimeter lot setbacks would not change.

Do the parking requirements change?

No. Each unit will require the same 2 spaces per dwelling unit and 1 guest parking per 2 dwelling units.

Do the open space requirements change?

Yes. Reduction from 200 sq. ft. unit to 150 sq. ft. This is because there would no longer be a common open space area as each lot is individually owned.

How are Small Lot developments approved?

Same as current approval. Tract Map (5 lots or more) would be approved by the City Council. Parcel Map (4 lots or less) would be approved by the Planning Commission.

Additionally, Planning Commission approval of a Site Plan and Design Review application would be required, same as current approval for multi-family dwelling projects in the R-3 zone.

Is a maintenance agreement required?

Yes. Maintenance agreements must be composed of and executed by all property owners. Each owner and future owner will automatically become members. The maintenance agreement shall be recorded as a Covenant and Agreement to run with the land.

What is the main difference between a condominium townhome and Small Lot?

Each unit in a Small Lot would be constructed on an individual parcel with no common foundation, walls, or footing. A property line separates the units. Because each unit would be on its own lot, the homeowner would own both the building and the land underneath (fee-simple).


Please contact the Planning Division at (626) 569-2140.