An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a second permanent dwelling that is accessory to a primary dwelling unit on the same site. An accessory dwelling provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, sanitation, and parking, and can either be attached or detached from the primary residence. They may be permitted in any residential zoning district, subject to approval by the Community Development Department through the Building Permit plan review process. The Building Permit Fees are based on the size of the unit and the proposed scope of work to create the unit.
Over the last few years, the State has made significant changes to ADU regulations in response to a statewide housing shortage. The most recent changes, adopted in 2019, went into effect January 1, 2020. These changes have modified typical development standards such as parking and setbacks.
State law also requires cities to update their ADU regulations to be consistent with State law which must be reviewed by the State Department of Housing and Community Development for consistency with State law. Further, the State law invalidates the city’s current ADU regulations until such time it is updated to be consistent with State law. While the city is in the process of updating the ADU ordinance, permits for proposed ADUs are issued if found to be consistent with State law.
Staff is currently revising the city’s ADU regulations. It is anticipated that the draft regulations will be considered in the spring of 2020 by the Planning Commission, followed by the City Council. If you any questions about the State law or the city’s process of updating its ADU ordinance, please contact Rafael Castillo, Senior Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org.