One Home Per Acre Zoning - What it really means.

It seems like a pretty basic concept.  Developers are only allowed to build one home on every acre of developable land.  From a thirty thousand foot view that is true.  However, you do not have to drive far in Brentwood to realize a lot of homes, even large ones, have yards smaller than one acre.  So how did this happen?  There were a few developments with smaller lots already built when Brentwood became an incorporated City on April 15, 1969.  Those developments were grandfathered in at that time under the new codes.  A few of these type developments were also annexed into the City after incorporation. 

The following definition of One Acre Density can be found on the City’s Website:

“One Acre Density” – Brentwood’s residential development standards are based on the concept of a minimum “one acre density”. This means that there is one acre of land allocated with each home. In some zoning districts, this means that each house sits on a lot that is at least one acre in size. In the OSRD zoning districts, this means that homes may be on lots that are less than one acre in size, but there is preserved open space within the subdivision that balances out the smaller lot sizes to still equate to a minimum of one acre of land per house. For example, in an OSRD zoned subdivision, there could be 100 homes on 100 lots that are ½ acre each. This would mean there are 100 homes on 50 acres. However, there must be 50 acres of preserved open space within the subdivision such that the overall subdivision is 100 acres in size and there are 100 homes – maintaining the overall one acre density standard.

In reality “One Home Per Acre Zoning” has nothing to do with the size of a lawn the house is built on.  It has to do with the allowable density, or number of homes that are permitted to be built on an undeveloped piece of property.

Additional information can be found about zoning and related terminology at the following link to the City Website:

One Acre Density - Why it matters

One of the truly unique factors that differentiate Brentwood from other surrounding cities is one home per acre density.  Most surrounding cities and communities do not have any restriction, or only slight restrictions in zoning, which controls their population density and growth.  By controlling the amount of homes which are allowed to be built in Brentwood, along with the requirement for those homes to be single family dwellings, the population density is uniquely controlled.  The 2018 Census showed Brentwood has 42,667 residents in approximately 14,000 homes.  That means each home averages approximately three residents (per buildable acre).  Brentwood’s 2030 Plan indicates the City is only about 70% built out with a projected 7,000 additional homes to be built under current zoning standards.  That means Brentwood’s population is projected to continue to grow by an additional 20,000+ people if no changes in zoning are made.