COMMUNITIES LIMITING HOUSE SIZE

Every community has it's own sense of place, and they take different approaches when it comes to limiting house size. Below is a non-comprehensive list of communities that have limited house size in their own particular ways. Know of any others? Please contact us with details and we can add them to our list.


Los Angeles, CA

March, 2017: In an attempt to deal with a McMansions surge, Los Angeles passed new rules relating to house size. Their 200 foot exemption of attached garages from floor plan calculations may limit their effectiveness.

The new rules are discussed in this newspaper article and further detail in this one


TRURO, MA

October 4, 2016: Truro Massachusetts limited house size in it's Seashore District. The group Save Truro Seashore screened One Big Home several times to galvanize support in the community and used Chilmark's bylaw as their model.

Truro's bylaw incorporates a sliding scale based on lot size.

This newspaper article gives some background and reports on the bylaw's passage.


EAST hampton VILLAGE, NY

June 19, 2015: East Hampton Village, New York set a limit on house size. 

Their rules set a "maximum coverage" using a sliding scale based on lot size. They have a maximum limit of 20,000 square feet for residences regardless of lot size.

This newspaper article gives some information about East Hampton's limits. The New York Times also discussed the movement towards house size limitations in the Hamptons as did Newsday.


May 5, 2003: Aspen's rules set size limits in different districts with a sliding scale for each district. 

This newspaper article discusses Aspen's ordiances.

Aspen, CO


Boulder, CO

January 2, 2010: Boulder, Colorado set size limits using "compatible development rules". Boulder created an online calculator that allows people to find out what is allowed on their site.

This newspaper article discusses the rules.


Pitkin County, CO

2006: Pitkin County, Colorado set a maximum size limit of 5,750 square feet. However they have a "maximum absolute cap" of 15,000 square feet of floor space that can be attained by using transferable development rights (TDR). TDR's are designed to leave certain land undeveloped but compensates owners by transferring development rights to land designated for development. In other words, urban areas pay surrounding rural areas to remain undeveloped, in order to grow within their urban boundaries. Within Pitkin County, cities and incorporated areas have their own zoning rules so for example Aspen's house size limit is different. They further explain the logic behind TDR's on their website.

Pitkin County outlines their rules in a document "Rural living in Pitkin County"

This real estate website also offers a "2006 land use primer" on Pitkin County's rules, some of which are highlighted above.


VILLAGE OF Southampton, NY

April 13, 2017: The Village of Southampton passed regulations that limit house size using a sliding scale based on lot size with a maximum total gross floor area of 18,000 square feet. 

The statute was discussed in this newspaper article before passage.

 


November 1, 2017:  The town of Mercer Island, Washington, passed regulations that limit house size and lot coverage while also increasing protection for trees and minimizing construction impacts.

The code is summarized here and explored further in this newspaper article.

MERCER ISLAND, WA