What is aN ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT?
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a second living unit located on the same lot as a single-family home in the R1 (Single-Family) Zoning district. They are also referred to as granny units, in-law units, or companion units. ADU's typically contain a bathroom, one or two bedrooms, a kitchen and, sometimes, a garage or carport. ADU's provide housing opportunities within single-family neighborhoods and are either attached to or separated from the main home.
In September 2016, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill (SB) 1069 and Assembly Bill (AB) 2299, amending Section 65852.2 of the Government Code. Effective January 1, 2017, this amendment provided exceptions to the amount of required parking, allowed conversion of existing garages, reduced building setbacks, and limited fire sprinkler and water meter requirements for all ADUs. These amendments reduce barriers and streamline approval of ADU's in all California cities. See the Senate Bill and California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Memo summarizing the law for more information.
In 2019, the Governor signed into law new regulations that impact ADU regulations statewide, which became effective January 1, 2020. The Environmental Planning Commission recommended City Council approve the Draft ADU regulations on March 4, 2020 at a public hearing. The City Council did not review the Draft ADU regulations on April 28, 2020; the item was returned to City staff for further review. On October 27, 2020, the City Council approved the new ADU regulations, which became effective on December 10, 2020.
UPCOMING INFORMATIONAL WEBINAR
Are you interested in constructing an ADU on your property? Or are you planning for a future ADU? The City is hosting a virtual zoom webinar for property owners and interested parties to learn about the benefits of ADUs, current zoning and building requirements, financing options, and more on Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. To attend the webinar, please register online.
For questions regarding the ADU regulations, please contact the Planning Division by phone at (650) 903-6306 or by email.