Chapter 14-48


14-48.010    Purpose.

14-48.020    Definitions.

14-48.030    Districts permitted.

14-48.040    Use permit required.

14-48.050    Development standards.

14-48.060    Minimum age requirement.

14-48.070    Management requirement.

14-48.080    Parking requirements.

14-48.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide for and regulate the establishment of single room occupancy (SRO) residential hotels in the Central Commercial District. The purpose of this chapter is to allow for additional housing opportunities for residents and visitors, including low income persons, whose tenancy is a minimum of thirty (30) days, or longer duration, as well as to establish building and management requirements to ensure that SRO residential hotels are designed and managed in a safe and healthy manner.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.020 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, unless otherwise apparent from the context, certain words and phrases used in this chapter are defined as follows:

(a)    “Landlord” shall mean the owner or leaseholder of a residential hotel, who upon the receipt of rent or other equitable compensation, allows tenancy of an SRO unit and its accompanying privileges.

(b)    “Low income” shall mean any household whose income exceeds fifty (50%) percent but does not exceed eighty (80%) percent of the median income as adjusted for household size, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the Santa Cruz County Metropolitan Statistical Area.

(c)    “Manager” shall mean that person, or persons, who, in exchange for money, rent, or other equitable consideration, oversees and/or carries out the duties and responsibilities consistent with the operation of a residential hotel, including but not limited to tenant registration, building or tenant emergency response and action, utility maintenance and upkeep, etc.

(d)    “Manager’s unit” shall mean any unit located within a residential hotel for exclusive use by the manager(s) as defined above.

(e)    “Residential hotel” shall mean a building, structure, or property that contains six (6) or more rooms, defined as SRO units, which rents at least ten (10%) percent of its rooms for periods of continuous occupancy of thirty (30) days or more, and where the landlord does not retain a right of access and control of the unit. Notwithstanding the above, a residential hotel does not include any building, structure, or property in which persons are housed or detained under legal restraint or hospitalized or otherwise under medical, nursing, or psychiatric care.

(f)    “Single room occupancy (SRO) unit” shall mean a single room separately rented or leased within a residential hotel.

(g)    “Tenant” shall mean any resident of a residential hotel who pays rent or other equitable compensation, and is therefore granted the privileges and rights conveyed in an owner/tenant legal relationship.

(h)    “Transient hotel room” shall mean a guest room within a residential hotel which is not a residential hotel room as defined above. This transient hotel room shall be identical to the SRO unit definition and development standards except in the minimum length of stay.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.030 Districts permitted.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Parts 10 and 11 of Chapter 14-16 of this title, residential hotels shall be allowed only in the Central Commercial District, subject to the provisions of this chapter.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.040 Use permit required.

An existing residential hotel may only be remodeled for more than fifty (50%) percent of its market value, enlarged, reconstructed or otherwise added to in size or capacity by the approval of a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission. The construction of a new residential hotel shall be permitted only after approval of a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission. All design review approval shall be pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 14-11 of this title.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.050 Development standards.

Those residential hotels subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, in addition to all other applicable codes, meet all the development standards of this section; provided, however, the Planning Commission or City Council may relax such standards upon a finding that such modifications are reasonably necessary to implement the general intent of this chapter. The development standards for residential hotels are as follows:

(a)    SRO unit design requirements. A new SRO unit shall have a minimum of 150 square feet or a maximum of 200 square feet of floor area when designed for single occupancy. At least thirty (30) square feet of interior common space shall be provided for each unit, excluding janitorial storage, laundry facilities, common hallways and front desk/management offices.

(b)    SRO unit amenities. Each SRO unit shall contain: (1) an enclosed bathroom, with door, a shower or bathtub, a toilet, and an overhead fan, the total floor area of which shall be not less than eighteen (18) square feet; (2) a kitchen area consisting, at a minimum, of a sink, counter-top area of at least six (6) square feet, an under counter refrigerator, a microwave oven, and food and kitchen utensil storage cabinets; (3) an enclosed closet/storage area of at least seven (7) square feet of floor area (or fifty (50) cubic feet); (4) wall-to-wall carpeting throughout entire unit except for bathroom and area in front of kitchen area; (5) front door of solid-core design with dead-bolt lock; (6) cable television and telephone service jacks; and (7) a tamper-proof fire alarm.

(c)    Manager’s unit. A double occupancy, one-bedroom unit, for the exclusive use of the manager may be provided. At a minimum, a single occupancy efficiency dwelling unit, as defined in Section 14-18.326 of this title, shall be provided for the exclusive use of the manager.

(d)    Common areas. Each residential hotel shall provide at least thirty (30) square feet of common area for each unit. No more than one-third ( 1/3) of this building total can be met by providing each unit with its own patio or deck area. The remainder, twenty (20) square feet or more per unit, must be used to provide at least one main recreation/lounge area that shall contain a full kitchen and dining area for use by residents. It is specifically recommended that this requirement be met by providing useable, landscaped exterior area(s), whose use and access will be restricted to residents and management; e.g. enclosed courtyard.

(e)    Laundry facilities. Laundry facilities for every eight (8) tenants, on the same floor on which they reside, shall be required in all new residential hotel development. A laundry room facility shall consist of at least one washing machine, one dryer and one utility basin with hot and cold water. On floors with more than eight (8) tenants, laundry facilities can be combined in one room.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.060 Minimum age requirement.

No person under the age of eighteen (18) years, unless married or emancipated, shall be allowed to occupy a SRO unit.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.070 Management requirement.

Each residential hotel must provide a comprehensive and enforceable management plan as a condition to project approval. The management plan shall address the following subjects:

(a)    Manager. An on-site, full-time manager shall be required for any residential hotel that contains ten (10) or more SRO units.

(b)    Support staff. The management plan shall list support staff positions and responsibilities.

(c)    Emergency plan. All residential hotels shall provide a detailed management plan that includes procedures to be followed in fire, earthquake, police/security, and medical emergencies.

(d)    The management plan shall also clearly identify the number of occupants allowed in each unit, overnight guest restrictions, visiting hours, and number of guests allowed per unit.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)

14-48.080 Parking requirements.

Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter 9-3 of this Code, parking requirements for new residential hotels shall be as follows:


Parking spaces


1 space per manager


.5 spaces per tenant

Support staff

1 space every 10 units


1 space every 10 units

Senior citizen

1 space every tenant

Support staff parking requirements can be modified if the SRO residential hotel has access by one or more alleyways.

In residential hotels that are either age restricted to seniors, or fifty (50%) percent or more of its tenants are sixty-two (62) years of age or older, one parking space per unit shall be required.

(§ 1, Ord. 916-93 C-M, eff. March 11, 1993)