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renting out sheds in the backyard

Original post made by resident, Fairmeadow, on Oct 14, 2011

We have a neighbor who recently put in sheds in his backyard and is renting them out. The owner seems to think this is OK as long as they are quiet which they are, but isn't this a violation of zoning? The tree falling down on that truck is a reminder of why this is not a good idea. But who knows what other problems there are with this since they were never intended for people to live in them. Has anyone have any experience with this? Do we contact the city?

Comments (17)

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Renting them out for what?


4 people like this
Posted by Not allowed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Call the City code enforcement officer.


8 people like this
Posted by Not allowed
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 15, 2011 at 9:17 pm

There is an article in the London Daily Mail today about landlords putting sheds up in the backyards of their homes to house illegal immigrants. The sheds can't be seen from the Street so they're getting big rents for hiding illegals.


4 people like this
Posted by Crescent Park Dad
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 16, 2011 at 5:11 am

Call the Planning Department - Code Enforcement falls under their supervision. You can do this anonymously.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 16, 2011 at 8:17 am

If there really are people living in these sheds then they should be reported. This is for sanitary and safety reasons as we have no idea how they are disposing of human waste or cooking their food, and as it gets colder, how they are heating the sheds.


7 people like this
Posted by Lanca
a resident of another community
on Apr 16, 2017 at 12:06 am

This is also happening in Los Angeles County. Code enforcement is very unresponsive. Will try the Co. Department of Health. The people are renting metal sheds and excreting in the open and cooking on a grill amongst mounds of dog poo. Disgusting conditions! What a hell hole CA has become!


16 people like this
Posted by Long Time Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Apr 16, 2017 at 1:15 am

This appears to be the beginning of the "third worldization" of the US and the UK.
As more people from less developed regions move to more prosperous regions, we run out of land for homes.

A region of Portland, Oregon is asking their residents to build mini homes to accommodate the growing homeless population.
Web Link

Seattle, Washington also has a serious housing crisis. Amazon employees can't find housing. And they are bidding against foreign investors. It is hurting young people who are locally employed and need housing to raise their families.

Enormous high rise apartments and condos are being built all around Seattle and the Eastside of Lake Washington. The developers are foreign.
Washington State is blaming their housing crisis on the high cost of real estate in Vancouver, British Columbia; pushing foreign investors to buy in lesser expensive US cities.

The universities in our western states are unable to keep up with the pace of growth to accommodate students and staff.

Living in a shed or ADU is NOT a solution.
We all know what the solution is, but don't want to say it.
Foreigners should be prohibited from owning both commercial and residential real estate, and also our farmland.

We have reduced ourselves to living with situation, and it is only going to get worse unless people speak up and say something.





13 people like this
Posted by $tack & pack
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 16, 2017 at 11:49 am

How's this different from the recent city council's push to approve Accessory Dwelling Units with little or no regard to set-backs, neighborhood privacy or parking?

Counsel seems very unwilling to consider residents' complains and concerns about neighboring ADUs, claiming everything was discussed in some "consent calendar" about which there's been little or no coverage.

It seems like the only difference is whether the city gets the fees for rental income and building permit to feather its own nest at our expense. The degredation of our quality of life remains the same.

Too bad about the decline in our property values.


2 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2017 at 12:47 pm

@StackAndPack

Ah yes, your property values. Clearly you are the real victim here, suffering such hardships.


5 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2017 at 1:15 pm

":Ah yes, your property values. Clearly you are the real victim here, suffering such hardships."

Stay tuned. You may be able to get a real bargain on a couple of sheds for your backyard, complete with living amenities.


6 people like this
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Almost forgot. If you work fast, maybe you can get paying tenants in the deal.


2 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2017 at 3:47 pm

Hey, at the rate that you guys are blocking housing development those might be the only affordable deals left around here. Toss in access to the bathroom in the house and maybe two engineers splitting rent could afford it.


3 people like this
Posted by New Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 16, 2017 at 3:52 pm

@YIMBY
You mean Mountain View, not Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

YIMBY: Yes In My Back Yard. What a perfect avatar for this thread. How did I overlook that before.

This is your big chance, good buddy. Go for it.


2 people like this
Posted by Sanctimonious City
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 16, 2017 at 6:50 pm

Congratulations YIMBY.

Instead of splitting rent for $2,500 on a two bedroom/one bathroom 40 year old apartment you will now have the option of getting a shed, a cot and a propane stove all to yourself for $1,500 a month.

Nice upgrade.


Like this comment
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm

$1500 for your own space is a steal. Toss that up on Craigslist and you'll have to silence your phone from all of the applications.


Like this comment
Posted by Marie
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 16, 2017 at 11:37 pm

Marie is a registered user.

File a complaint with Palo Alto 311. Many of these illegal sheds are firetraps and very dangerous. The city required that a landlord down the street has removed an illegal structure. They will follow up.

I support legal ADU's that follow zoning and meet the various codes. The fire codes are adopted for a reason. It is why we have so few fires.


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