I'd say as much as will hold their stuff and them both reasonably and comfortably. How is this less than a subjective question?
So how about you? How much space do you have? What features of your residence, subjectively, make it good or bad as a carlight (or bike-heavy) home? Where do you store your bikes and work on them? What would you change about your place if you could?
People need as much house and property as they are comfortable with. No one that happens to be a minimalist can judge what a successful business executive with a wife/Husband and 3 or 4 kids might need any more than Bill Gates would judge what a minimalist needs to live. I know plenty of people that live on board a Boat. I know as many that live in a RV and go from camp site to camp site for years on end. The needs of a person in relation to housing is not directly related to how they transport themselves.
In my case anything from 750 Square feet to 2500 square feet works well. When I was active in a band I needed a music room and a home office, living room, three bedrooms, a kitchen two bath rooms, a laundry room and a work room. It seems in a free society people should be allowed to buy what they are willing to work for. If you have a good job with a good salary and you can afford a 4000 square foot home with a pool and a small BMX course in the back yard that might seem like a need. I only mention the latter because it took about 50 yards of dirt to make a BMX course in our back yard after my son out grew the swing set. :lol: Our house was about 1800 square feet on a large fenced in lot.
My house had one when I bought the place, but I let the woods reclaim it.
A married cyclist must have enough house to provide a comfortable cushion of space between the spouse and the collection of bikes. Unless of course your spouse also rides. Mine does not.
What I'm trying to say is that those families who wanted to remain carfree in 1970 can still do it today. It's not something that's going to happen in the future and it's going on today.
In the apartment where I currently live, we have The Bike Room. Yep: the bikes (along with all my tools and random parts) have their own bedroom. Whichever bike I'm riding the most stays in the kitchen, because that's where the back entry is and linoleum can handle the various slop I drag in.
For me, the layout and location are more important than the size in an ideal house, though I don't like large houses. The one we're moving to has a very good layout, along with a front vestibule, rear sunporch/mudroom (very useful in this climate), basement, and garage: pretty ideal for bikes. I would have liked a bigger yard, but most of those are in the pro-car parts of town. The community garden is in walking distance, though.
I had bike rooms also. I had a set of wire shelves for gear. I also had a big table where I put frequently used stuff. This also gave me a work surface for cleaning and repairing equipment, folding and packing clothes, and so forth. It was easy to get things ready the night before a ride, and having everything together, I didn't forget to pack things.
I am looking for a townhouse with a garage to tinker in. My wife is fixated on it being three bedroom so we each have a private room to go to and play computer games, read, whatever.
The house is maybe 60 years old and has ceramic tile over the original worn narrow siding and that tile is broken or even missing around the kitichen sink pipes, which brings a draft into my bedroom and bathroon without a space heater (on the one other circuit that takes it and it's outlet with a GFCI). Still, I work hard to keep it up and the landlord has been fixing things along the way for the seven and a half years I've lived here, which is far longer than my parents ever lived under a MORTGAGE, I will die here someday as this is the last time I will ever move again, it's a pain in the butt and being on housing assistance it's ludicrous finding a new place. I love my home. I have a second bedroom to use as a work area and music/video storage area and TWO small sheds in the back for bikes and electronics well as a generously large living room.
The only thing I would change is getting rid of the neighbor's oversexed tomcat.
One of my previous jobs was with an architectural firm who, among other things, managed several new subdivisions. The majority of customers I dealt with were asking questions about the specific standards of their subdivision ...
"I want to paint my fence "pale cocoa" ... is that allowed?"
"No, sorry, in your subdivision, you can choose from "cappuccino", "tree bark" or "rich loam"
"I want to build a fence that is 3 feet high ... is that allowed?"
"No, sorry, in your subdivision, you must build your fences 4 feet high"
And the standards and regulations in those subdivisions are only temporary. They are lifted after a number of years (10? 20? Depends on the subdivision). After that you can paint your house bright purple with ochre polka-dots if you want. By then, there's a good chance the "certain class of people" will have moved on to a new subdivision.
I suspect the size by zoning is to protect builder revenue and/or tax revenues. The property I currently live on is at the back of what was originally a 90 acre farm. The front part belongs to others in my wife's family. We literally have to drive through a salvage yard to get to our property. I have seen pictures of it from 40 years ago and it was beautiful then, now it has been destroyed, paved over with concrete and has old trucks and equipment piled up on it. Not something most people would want to live next too. Our zoning is a mix of agricultural/residential. We can build just about anything we want but still have to meet the residential setbacks. We subdivided the 38 acres last year for financial planning and estate planning reasons. Currently I have an issue with where one of the property lines was put, my FIL is hard headed and stubborn to boot, so we are trying to reason with him and get one of the lines resurveyed so it does not cause problems for us down the road.
Machka's description sounds more like HOA (Home Owner's Association) those you have some control over by asking questions and finding a subdivision that either doesn't have one or has one that has requirements that meet with your tastes and approvals.