How Does California Law Impact ADUs?

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California State laws have permitted the construction of ADUs, but there were also many individual local ordinances that have affected ADUs. In the past, the local laws complicated and added requirements for homeowners who wanted to build new ADUs. Some of the most frequent requirements included city and county-level standards regulating construction, utility fees, lot coverage and parking.

The good news is that Governor Jerry Brown recently signed three new ADU-related pieces of legislation with the hope of addressing California’s ongoing housing crisis. These new laws can make it easier for homeowners across California to get permits for new ADUs from their city and county offices.

Homeowners should be aware of the following legislation impacting ADU construction across California:

  • Senate Bill (SB) 1069—Significantly reduces, and in some cases eliminates, ADU parking requirements and utility hook-up fees. This bill also accelerates the approval process for ADUs attached to the primary home.
  • Assembly Bill 2299—Requires local ADU ordinances to include non-discretionary and ministerial approval for second-unit construction that meets city building requirements.
  • Assembly Bill 2406—Speeds up the permitting process for homeowners who want to turn an existing room in their home into an attached ADU, such as a studio apartment.

These laws were designed to prevent local governments from bogging down the process for homeowners who want to construct ADUs, limiting city and county authority to regulate ADUs over state law. All local governments were required to adopt ADU ordinances that follow these new state requirements as of January 1, 2017.

Better still, the new California State laws will help accelerate the ADU construction approval process, eliminating secondary utility hook-up costs usually paid by the property owners. As for the parking requirements, the state laws remove these for ADUs located close to public transit lines and lessen the requirements for other areas.

Naturally, laws and codes can change, so if you’re thinking of having an ADU added to your property, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the latest information regarding California’s ADU laws.

Local ADU Ordinances

Gayler Design Build stays informed of all changes and updates to local zoning ordinances that impact ADU construction in Contra Costa County, as well as the following locations where we have worked with homeowners on building accessory dwelling units in the following communities:

If you are considering adding an accessory dwelling unit to your home or property, please contact Gayler Design Build to discuss your ideas and find out all the latest news on ADU construction in your community.

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