Summary of Recent Changes to [California Senate Bill 1069] ADU Laws

Real Estate Broker/Owner with TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Developer 01795582


Summary of Recent Changes to [California

Senate Bill 1069] ADU Laws


I will be posting frequently on this subject on several social media and business platforms as I've been getting feedback from several folks seeking more information on this new California mandate/law. Please feel free to repost or pass it on to folks you feel may benefit from it; especially homeowners.




Courtesy of Karen Chapple, UC Berkeley



The California legislature found and declared that, among other things, allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in single family and multifamily zones provides additional rental housing and are an essential component in addressing housing needs in California. Over the years, ADU law has been revised to improve its effectiveness such as recent changes in 2003 to require ministerial approval. In 2017, changes to ADU laws will further reduce barriers, better streamline approval and expand capacity to accommodate the development of ADUs.

ADUs are a unique opportunity to address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable housing options for family members, friends, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled,

and others. Further, ADUs offer an opportunity to maximize and integrate housing choices within existing neighborhoods.



Within this context, the Department has prepared this guidance to assist local governments in encouraging the development of ADUs. Please see Attachment 1 for the complete statutory changes. The following is a brief summary of the changes for each bill.

SB 1069 (Wieckowski)


S.B. 1069 (Chapter 720, Statutes of 2016) made several changes to address barriers to the development of ADUs and expanded capacity for their development. The following is a brief summary of provisions that go into effect January 1, 2017.





SB 1069 reduces parking requirements to one space per bedroom or unit. The legislation authorizes off street parking to be tandem or in setback areas unless specific findings such as fire and life safety conditions are made. SB 1069 also prohibits parking requirements if the ADU meets any of the following:

  • Is within a half mile from public transit.

  • Is within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.

  • Is part of an existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure.

  • Is in an area where on-street parking permits are required, but not offered to the occupant of the ADU.

  • Is located within one block of a car share area.


SB 1069 provides that ADUs shall not be considered new residential uses for the purpose of calculating utility connection fees or capacity charges, including water and sewer service. The bill prohibits a local agency from requiring an ADU applicant to install a new or separate utility connection or impose a related connection fee or capacity charge for ADUs that are contained within an existing residence or accessory structure. For attached and detached ADUs, this fee or charge must be proportionate to the burden of the unit on the water or sewer system and may not exceed the reasonable cost of providing the service.



Fire Requirements

SB 1069 provides that fire sprinklers shall not be required in an accessory unit if they are not required in the primary residence.

ADUs within Existing Space

Local governments must ministerially approve an application to create within a single family residential zone one ADU per single family lot if the unit is:

  • contained within an existing residence or accessory structure.

  • has independent exterior access from the existing residence.

  • has side and rear setbacks that are sufficient for fire safety.

    These provisions apply within all single family residential zones and ADUs within existing space must be allowed in all of these zones. No additional parking or other development standards can be applied except for building code requirements.

    No Total Prohibition

    SB 1069 prohibits a local government from adopting an ordinance that precludes ADUs 

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Why To Choose Us?

John DL Arenden, Broker 

TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments

TAG (The Arendsen Group) Real Estate Sales & Investments is a full service, one-stop, turnkey, family owned and operated real estate brokerage, General Contractor, Manufactured Home Contractor, Developer, Investor, Property Manager, Interior Design, Engineering, architectural, Landscape design, Expert Witness, Consulting, Curative Title and Troubleshooting company with over 100 years of combined experience in the San Diego real estate sales, construction, design & development arena.





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Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker

Quite the indertaking. Still in search of more information to make an informed decision. I will stay tuned for more!

Mar 20, 2017 06:38 AM #1
Caroline Gerardo
Eagle Home Mortgage, LENNAR HOMES Home Loans - Newport Beach, CA
C. G. Barbeau the Loan Lady

I'm interested in how this will morph, and if another bill is in the works. Housing shortages in California are a real problem. Every city is looking at how to build homeless low cost housing, how to add rental units low cost and how to make their city desireable for employees who aren't wealthy John DL Arendsen 

Mar 21, 2017 03:20 PM #2
John DL Arendsen
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Developer - Leucadia, CA
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments Coastal Living

@ Caroline Gerardo I'm giving you an inside look at my forthcoming posts on this very subject.

What are Accessory Dwelling Units?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California. 

Recent state legislation gives California cities more flexibility and latitude for allowing homeowners to build ADUs. Three separate bills were introduced and signed by Governor Brown during the last session; SB 1069 (Wieckowski), AB 2299 (Bloom), and AB 2406 (Thurmond). Each of these land use bills make it easier than ever for homeowners to take advantage of this attractive opportunity. 

For more information, click on "View our December 20, 2016 ADU Webinar"



Mar 21, 2017 03:25 PM #3
John DL Arendsen
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments, ON THE LEVEL General Contractor, Crest Homes Factory Built Housing Developer - Leucadia, CA
TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments Coastal Living

Hi Caroline Gerardo If you can't join us in person feel free to login to our Go To Meeting.


Wed, Apr 19, 2017 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM PDT 

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. 

Access Code: 831-800-357 




Christina Coy

System Administrator


Phone 760-438-8007 ext. 131



From: Robin Muller 
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 9:04 AM
To: John Arendsen <>
Cc: Christina Coy <>
Subject: RE: NAMM Boardroom - April 19



Apr 17, 2017 01:37 PM #4
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