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Minimum Residential Space Standards

Why?
The purpose of establishing minimum standards for the quantity, location and use of space in residential building units is to preserve and promote the public interest. A suitable environment for safe, healthy and desirable living can be enhanced by providing adequate space and privacy for occupants of all residential buildings. No person shall occupy or let to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not comply with the following requirements. 

Minimum Requirements
Every detached single-family dwelling other than mobile homes shall be at least 500 square feet in floor area on the first floor level. 

Every dwelling unit shall contain at least 150 square feet of floor area for the first occupant thereof and at least 100 additional square feet of floor area for every additional occupant thereof, the floor area to be calculated on the basis of total habitable room floor area. In every dwelling unit of two or more rooms, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one occupant shall contain at least 70 square feet of habitable floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one occupant shall contain at least 50 square feet of habitable floor area for each occupant thereof.

No dwelling unit containing two or more sleeping rooms shall have such room arrangements that access to a bathroom or water closet compartment intended for use by occupants of more than one sleeping room can be had only by going through another sleeping room; nor shall room arrangements be such that access to a sleeping room can be had only by going through another sleeping room or a bathroom or water closet compartment. 

In all dwelling units the average ceiling height shall be not less than seven feet six inches and the minimum ceiling height shall be not less than seven feet in the entire first floor area. The minimum ceiling height shall be seven feet six inches for all floor areas above the first floor except undersloping roofs where the minimum shall be seven feet six inches for not less than 50 percent of the floor area, and where that portion of the floor area under the sloping roof having a ceiling height of less than five feet shall not be considered as part of the floor area in computing the maximum permissible occupancy thereof. 

No sleeping room shall have its floor level below the alley, court, yard or street grade immediately adjoining and abutting upon said habitable rooms except that in single-family dwellings it may be permitted when the following conditions are complied with: 

  • The exterior walls shall be damp-proofed. 
  • A refrigerant air-conditioner or dehumidifier shall be available for use when needed, which is designed to handle the square foot of the floor area on the sleeping or living lower level. 
  • Proper drainage away from exterior walls of the structure shall be provided. 
  • Sash area of windows shall be at least 10 percent of the floor area of the room. At least 50 percent of the required window sash area shall open, or in lieu thereof, mechanical ventilation shall be provided with a minimum capacity of two cubic feet per minute per square foot of floor area. 

Every lodging room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 70 square feet of habitable floor area, and every room occupied for sleeping purposes by more than one person shall contain at least 50 square feet of habitable floor area for each occupant thereof, provided that not more than seven square feet of closet space may be included per occupant.