Codes and zoning

Q. Thanks for doing what you do. I’m curious though, what is the zoning for your house? Do you have to have any special permits to do what you do? And the composting toilet…I didn’t think cities let you use them. Did you have to get a permit for it?

A. We live in a low-income (“fixer upper”) neighborhood – which was one of the reasons we could afford such a house in California 20 years ago when we came out here from our 10 acres in Florida so that Jules could attend a theology college.

Our property is zoned Residential. As with any city municipality, you need to pull permits for construction, and we did pull one for the roof. Pasadena allows residents to keep certain farm animals as pets; however, there are a few basic regulations on distance from neighbors and how many animals you can keep.

As with anything that we do here on the urban homestead, we called the City and asked if there was anything against installing a compost toilet. The city employee said that there wasn’t “anything on the books” so couldn’t give us any regulations against installing a compost toilet and said to go ahead.

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