Laws & Regulations

Here we describe those City of San Diego codes, ordinances and laws which are particularly relevant to College View Estates and other College Area residential communities.

While some of these were developed to address the issues of nuisance rental properties (aka “minidorms”) it is important to remember that these regulations apply to all residences, not just rental properties.

For more information click on the headings/text in red for the city’s page on this topic. To report a problem or get a specific question answered refer to phone numbers/links at Who to Call.


Building Codes

  • Homes on small lots in RS zones (less than 10,000 square feet) are
    limited to a maximum of six bedrooms and four legal surface parking spaces.
  • Front yards in RS zones are limited to 60 percent maximum hardscape (hardscape does not equal legal parking area).
  • Single dwelling units with five or more bedrooms in the campus impact area must provide one legal parking space for each bedroom. A minimum of two of those parking spaces are required to be in an enclosed garage.
  • In the parking impact overlay zone, all lots are required to have a 12 foot wide driveway at the front property line.
  • For more information:

Residential Property Use Restrictions

  • Rooming House Ordinance (RHO) prohibits Rooming Houses in low density residential zones (e.g. CVE). The RHO generally defines "rooming houses" as single dwelling units with three or more bedrooms rented separately.
  • Residential High Occupancy Permit (RHOP) Ordinance requires an annual permit and fees for any single dwelling unit with six or more adult occupants. The permit requires legal off street parking for the number of occupants minus one.
  • Restrictive Covenants run with the land (they are valid regardless of owner). These specify elements of buildings, e.g. minimum size, permanence, distance from lot lines. Of particular interest is:
    • No noxious or offensive activity shall be carried on upon any lot, nor shall anything be done thereon which may be or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood
  • Renting Rooms in Your Home – Resident homeowners may rent rooms to no more than two individuals (boarders/lodgers). A bedroom must have a permanent door closing it off from the rest of the house.
  • Business operated out of a residential property is strictly limited by city code.
  • For more information:

Trash, Recycle, Yard Waste

  • Trash Collection (black city bin) is every Friday morning (Saturday after certain holidays). Trash must be in the approved container. Loose trash or trash in bags will not be picked up. Recycle (blue city bin) and Green Waste (regular trash cans) are collected alternate weeks. Recycle must be in the approved container. Hazardous Waste must not be put in with household trash.
  • Containers may be on the street as early as 6 p.m. the night before pick up and must be off the street by 6 p.m. on the day of collection. Failure to remove trash containers is a code violation.
  • Containers should be stored in a secured location not visible from public right-of-way, such as behind a fence, in your backyard, or in your garage.
  • For more information:

Property Maintenance

  • Waste and litter: Trash, junk, debris, indoor furniture, overflowing trash containers, and other waste and litter on private property are code violations.
  • Landscape: Dry grass and weeds cannot exceed 18 inches. Homeowners are responsible for maintaining parkways (including bush, tree trimming). Trees and bushes may not block sidewalks.
  • Parkway Trees: Parkway (the area between sidewalk and street) is owned by the city as right of way. Parkway trees, property of the city, are planted for the city by Urban Corps. Only certain trees may be planted in our narrow parkway. A City permit is required to remove a parkway tree; issued only if tree is dead. Owners who remove parkway trees without a permit will be fined. City will repair parkway or sidewalk when parkway tree roots cause damage. Maintenance (trimming) of parkway trees is the homeowner's responsibility.
  • Brush Maintenance: The municipal code requires that vegetation within 100 feet of houses on canyon lots be maintained in a manner to reduce fire danger. The rules are complicated, but at a minimum keep dead wood cleared out, and keep tall bushes away from the house.
  • For more information: