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.
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