Sacramento County outlaws working on your car at home


It is unlawful for any person to engage in, or permit others to engage in, major repair or maintenance of vehicles in any agricultural, agricultural-residential, residential, interim agricultural holding, interim estate or interim residential zones.
( See section 5.2.0.B of the Zoning Code )

It is illegal in Sacramento County to work on your own car, except for “minor” repairs or worse, anyone else’s car in your own garage at home. The fine is $430 and it costs $700 to appeal the fine. No tools are allowed that are not normally found in the home. The work must be performed only on cars registered to the owner in a fully enclosed garage and must be completed within 24 hours.

This law outlaws any restoration or even maintenance of your classic car, custom car or any car. It looks like farmers can’t even work on their own equipment. It might also be noted that an individual backing the law owns a body shop.

@bradleydad - That is a wild and sad law. It is an interesting footnote that one of the promoters of the bill is in the repair industry. Reads as though I can have a personal shop in an industrial area where I can work on my own vehicles–though the necessity to purchase real estate to maintain my own car is absurd.

Also the condition that this is outside and enclosed space is important. If you have the ability to close your garage door on the project, this doesn’t apply to you (At least that is how I read it.)

The reasoning cited is absurd as well- “The chemicals involved in major automobile repair can pollute our neighborhoods and endanger the health and wellbeing of our residents. Furthermore, this kind of activity increases vehicle traffic and the visual impact can negatively impact property values.​”

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This demands an answer, but I guess Californians have gotten used to taking it.

As someone who has lived in CA all my life all I can say is that Robert Stack got it right in the movie 1941, “This isn’t the state of California, this is the state of insanity!” They call it the land of the fruits, nuts and flakes for a reason!


Think of all the crazy, abnormal, unnatural, disgusting, sick and degenerate things you CAN do behind closed doors there…but you can’t fix or restore your own car.
They don’t care what goes on in the rest of the house, just their garages. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Right. You can LIVE in a car indefinitely parked on the street, and crap on the sidewalk without consequence. Apparently that “visual impact” doesn’t affect property values or is a health hazard. But don’t even think about changing the oil or doing a tune-up with prohibited tools in your garage.

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Sadly, California is not the first state with a county to do this. If you read other forums you’ll see counties in other states are enacting similar laws. It’s easy to poke fun at California, but laws like these threaten our hobby (cars, not reading forums to make disparaging remarks).

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I do read other forums but never heard of anything this restrictive. You have some additional links?
Speaking for me I didn’t intend to poke fun…that implies it’s humorous and my comments weren’t serious. Neither is the case.

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