CYPRESS : Low-Cost-Housing Law OKd by Council


To create a framework for a new kind of affordable housing, the City Council has enacted a single-room-occupancy ordinance.

SROs are a type of low-cost housing that was pioneered in San Diego County. The concept allows an apartment building-like structure consisting solely of single-room dwellings. Each single room contains a small kitchen and bathroom.

“The city adopted this as part of its housing plan,” said City Manager Darrell Essex. He said Cypress currently has no applicants who wish to build single-room dwellings, but he said the new ordinance prepares the way.


The council unanimously gave final approval to the SRO ordinance at its May 23 meeting. The ordinance becomes law in late June.

Several other Orange County cities, including Huntington Beach, have also passed zoning ordinances enabling the construction and use of single-room housing.

The new Cypress ordinance defines a single-room-occupancy development as “a group of guest units where each unit contains a minimum of 175 square feet and is limited to persons of low and very low income only.”

The ordinance says that kitchens in the single-room dwellings “shall contain a sink with garbage disposal, counter top, refrigerator and stove or microwave oven.” The ordinance says that bathrooms “shall contain a lavatory, toilet and shower or bathtub.”

The new zoning law also stipulates an amount of open space for each SRO development. The ordinance requires a minimum of 400 square feet of “common open space” for SRO developments containing 30 or fewer units.

For projects with more than 30 units, the developer must provide an additional 15 square feet of open space per unit.