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Guest Houses


  • Guest houses are allowed with certain conditions that protect neighboring properties from adverse affect.  The standards listed in  the Pima County Zoning Code Section 18.09.020 (G) must be met.
  • A Guest house is a detached structure consisting of a minimum of two rooms and a bathroom, which may have a kitchen, used primarily by members of the family occupying the main dwelling and their non paying guests.  (Per 18.03.020  (G) (7))
  • Secondary dwelling for RH or GR-1 zones

When can a guest house be allowed on a property?

  • A guest house shall be permitted on any residential or rural lot which has a minimum lot size of sixteen thousand square feet or more, and
  • A guest house shall meet the following Zoning Requirements:
    • Shall be no larger than forty-five percent of the floor area of the main dwelling
    • Only one guest house per lot shall be allowed
    • Minimum Yard Requirements:
    • Front: Must meet the minimum front yard setback for accessory buildings for the zone in which the guest house is located.
    • Side and Rear: Twenty feet
    • Distance to residence: Three feet
    • One additional on-site parking space shall be required for each bedroom within the guest house
    • Shall use the same access which serves the main dwelling (No new driveway or other access points allowed)
    • The guest house and the main dwelling shall not be served by separate utility meters

What is required for submittal?


  • If the plans meet the zoning requirements and there are no outstanding issues the guest house is allowed.
  • If the plans do not meet the zoning requirements, Building Safety and Sustainability will provide a comment correction sheet that lists the changes that have to be made for the plans to be approvable.
  • If a zoning code requirement is not being met, the property owner may apply for relief from the requirement through the Modification of Setback Requirement (MSR) or Variance from zoning code process




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