JJohnson

California's New Law, SB1069, and ADUs

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On Aug. 30, 2016 the State of California passed a bill allowing backyard 2nd units, granny units and rental cottages in virtually all backyards in California.  The new bill does away with the extra parking requirements and the cost of using a new utility connection for each unit.  The attempt is to get 1000’s of new dwelling units built to ease the housing crisis.  The bill goes to the governor for signing by Sept. 30..  It is estimated this bill could stimulate 150,000 units in the San Francisco Bay Area alone.  

 

It may be helpfull for us to share experiences we have in the coming months with this potiential market, for designing and building

what is being called Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs.

 

This is a continuation of the thread in the Chat Room.  I felt like that might not be the best place to share info on what is a local event.

 


 

Here is the bill text for reference

sb_1069_bill_20160902_enrolled.pdf

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Thanks for starting this thread Jere. So far I have reached out to 2 planning directors in Monterey and Carmel. So far, they have both responded with "we are aware and unsure of what to do yet" type of answer. I encourage everyone to reach out and ping their local planning directors so that this is getting the attention it deserves.

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Thanks for starting this thread Jere. So far I have reached out to 2 planning directors in Monterey and Carmel. So far, they have both responded with "we are aware and unsure of what to do yet" type of answer. I encourage everyone to reach out and ping their local planning directors so that this is getting the attention it deserves.

 

 

I agree,  thanks Jere.

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Will this law override any HOA restrictions/objections or will it be a knock down drag out fight like with most HOA's.

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Yippee, but will it trickle down to all cities or will each city make up there own laws restricting some of this.

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Yippee, but will it trickle down to all cities or will each city make up there own laws restricting some of this.

 

I am wondering the same thing.  I am doing a project for a client now,  and prior to this SB being approved,  they said it was going to cost them 40K in fees to do the "Granny Flat/Acc. Unit"...  if they could find the extra parking space.

 

The extra parking space was their limiting factor  (to get a RANGE in the unit).  So if they can now build without the extra  parking space,  is it still going to cost 40k in fees just to build it?  They are working with a 150k budget for a relatively easy build  (650 sf).  That 40k is 25% of their budget.

 

I think there is somebody who is running for a public office who is talking about limiting governmental regulations......  I forgot his name......

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Yippee, but will it trickle down to all cities or will each city make up there own laws restricting some of this.

 

 

Good question.  I came across this, "The League of California Cities" while browsing

for info on SB1069.  This appears to say that a city is subordinate to the state law,

 

SB1069 would further restrict a local agency's ability to impose requirements on
second units, which would be renamed "accessory dwelling units."

post-138-0-70371100-1475281918_thumb.jpg

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I am wondering the same thing.  I am doing a project for a client now,  and prior to this SB being approved,  they said it was going to cost them 40K in fees to do the "Granny Flat/Acc. Unit"...  if they could find the extra parking space.

 

The extra parking space was their limiting factor  (to get a RANGE in the unit).  So if they can now build without the extra  parking space,  is it still going to cost 40k in fees just to build it?  They are working with a 150k budget for a relatively easy build  (650 sf).  That 40k is 25% of their budget.

 

I think there is somebody who is running for a public office who is talking about limiting governmental regulations......  I forgot his name......

 

Does any of the following apply to your project ?  Is there a bus stop within a few blocks ?

 

(e) Notwithstanding any other law, a local agency, whether or
not it has adopted an ordinance governing accessory dwelling units
in accordance with subdivision (a), shall not impose parking
standards for an accessory dwelling unit in any of the following
instances:
(1) The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile
of public transit.
(2) The accessory dwelling unit is located within an
architecturally and historically significant historic district.
(3) The accessory dwelling unit is part of the existing primary
residence or an existing accessory structure.
(4) When on-street parking permits are required but not offered
to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
(5) When there is a car share vehicle located within one block
of the accessory dwelling unit.
(f) Notwithstanding subdivisions

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Will this law override any HOA restrictions/objections or will it be a knock down drag out fight like with most HOA's.

 

Would depend on specific covenants of HOA contract.  In my experience you loose

control of the exterior appearance of you unit, but have landscaping on public side

taken care of, possibly roof repairs and exterior paint upkeep too, and you pay dues

to cover the expense

 

The places I've seen in this kind of neighborhood, usually do not have the room for a simple

"accessory building" (other than a small shed), much less an ADU.

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Check this out

 

Article in San Francisco newspaper

 

I thought the excerpt below to be interesting

 

The California Department of Housing and Community Development plans to issue guidance on the law in a week or two

 

and

 

About two-thirds of California’s cities and counties have their own second-unit ordinances, but the state law is more permissive than most of them. Jurisdictions that have not adopted or amended a local ordinance that complies with the new state law by Jan. 1 will have to follow the state law until they approve a compliant one

 

 

 

Or just read this,

New California housing laws make granny units easier to build

By Kathleen Pender

December 3, 2016

California homeowners should find it easier and cheaper to build a second unit on their property, or turn an illegal unit into a legal one, thanks to two laws that take effect Jan. 1.

The laws, along with a third that took effect in September, will ease or eliminate the off-street parking requirements and often-enormous utility-hookup fees that homeowners face when they create a second dwelling, often called an in-law or granny unit.

One set of rules will apply if the second unit is created within an existing space — such as a bedroom, basement, attic or garage. Another set will apply if the new unit, whether attached or detached, adds square footage outside or on top of existing structures.

Homeowners will still have to comply with local building codes, find a contractor and arrange financing. Sylvia Krug, who is looking to convert bedrooms in her Novato home into a rental unit, said she interviewed three contractors “and they all have yearlong waiting lists.”

The new laws won’t come close to filling the Bay Area’s housing needs. But they could create options for middle-income renters who don’t qualify for below-market-rate housing and can’t afford a market-rate apartment. They also could help homeowners meet their mortgage payments, seniors stay in their homes with an on-site caregiver, and multigenerational families live together, but not too together.

Thelaws that take effect Jan. 1 — AB2299 and SB1069 — amend the state law governing second units and rename them “accessory dwelling units.”

About two-thirds of California’s cities and counties have their own second-unit ordinances, but the state law is more permissive than most of them. Jurisdictions that have not adopted or amended a local ordinance that complies with the new state law by Jan. 1 will have to follow the state law until they approve a compliant one.

Under the new law, second units are allowed on any lot with a single-family home, but local ordinances can say where they will or won’t be permitted based on factors such as water and sewer services, traffic flow and public safety.

The amended law will allow accessory units up to 1,200 square feet, but allows jurisdictions to impose lower limits and establish standards governing height, setback, lot coverage, landscaping and architectural review.

The state law does not prevent homeowners from renting out the second unit to short-term guests or require them to live in one of the units. But local jurisdictions can require one of the structures to be owner-occupied and regulate rentals of less than 30 days, as San Francisco does.

 

Photo: Scott Strazzante, The Chronicle

Toni Gardner's grandchildren, Jonah, 5, and Amelia, 2, play in the small house that Gardner had built in the backyard of her residence near Santa Cruz.

When a homeowner submits a second-unit application that meets state and local requirements, the local jurisdiction must approve it within 120 days, without the need to notify neighbors.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development plans to issue guidance on the law in a week or two. “We are in a housing crisis,” said Paul McDougall, the department’s housing policy manager. “Local governments should embrace this as a way to create” accessory dwelling units.

For most homeowners, the bill will remove a big impediment to second-unit creation: the need to create off-street parking.

For units created within an existing space, cities and counties cannot require any additional parking.

For units outside that space, cities can require one additional parking space per bedroom created. However, this requirement is waived if the home is within one-half mile of public transit, within a block of a car-share vehicle, in an architecturally and historically significant district, or if on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the second-unit occupant.

If new parking is required, it generally can be provided as tandem parking on an existing driveway or in setback areas (the space between your home and property line that is supposed to be empty), unless this would not be feasible based on topography or safety considerations.

The law also will let homeowners create a second unit within existing space, such as a garage, that sits within a setback area.

The other big bonus is the reduction or elimination of certain fees. Today, some water and sewer districts levy the same hookup fees on tiny second units that they charge on a full-fledged home. These fees can reach into the tens of thousands of dollars.

In the future, on second units built within existing space, utilities cannot require the homeowner to install a new or separate utility connection, nor can they impose a connection fee or capacity charge.

For units outside existing space, they can require a new or separate connection, and can charge a connection fee or capacity charge, but it must be “proportionate to the burden” of the second unit based on its size or number of plumbing fixtures.

San Jose has updated its zoning code to adopt the mandatory provisions of the new state law. “We had already started in the direction of making it easier to build secondary dwellings,” said Jenny Nusbaum, San Jose’s supervising planner. “We wanted to update our code before the the state law kicked in so we could, as much as possible, maintain local control.”

Among other things, San Jose reduced the minimum lot size needed to build a second unit from 6,000 square feet for attached and 8,000 square feet for detached to 5,445 feet for either type.

 

 

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You know, ya'll see this as an opportunity for more work,

but I can't help thinking this is just going to lead to a major

reduction in the quality of life for everybody involved. Our

infrastructures weren't designed for the added level of use

this type of expansion will generate. Who wants to fight for

parking places in front of their own property? Who wants to

see dozens of trash cans lining the streets on pickup day?

Who wants to hear the neighbor's in-laws arguing over the

back fence? Or their pets carrying on? Or the rowdy kids

blasting music at all hours? How are emergency services

going to access all these places? Has anybody really thought

out the consequences of this law? If it leads to squalid

overcrowded conditions and decreased property values what

have we gained?

 

Geez, if you want to live like sardines in a can move to Tokyo. JMHO

 

 

 

 

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Just got shot down on one in Long Beach Ca. They seem to have their own rules. It's even zoned for 2 units. Setback problems, so we have to go up to get it done.

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1 hour ago, DRAWZILLA said:

Just got shot down on one in Long Beach Ca. They seem to have their own rules. It's even zoned for 2 units. Setback problems, so we have to go up to get it done.

Law does not take effect until 2017

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YOU MEAN LIKE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, YOU WOULD THINK THEY SHOULD LET ME KNOW THAT.

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I've been working on a basement ADU and been avoiding the parameters that trigger an AUP, which from my understanding takes nearly half a year to get through the city of Berkeley. On a side note, the parking parameters are still a bit more stringent than spelled out in the from "Kathleen Pender" quote. Existing dwelling units will still require additional off street parking if the property is outside of the half mile mark and doesn't meet all of the criteria laid out in the new codes. My particular project is being designed with a "wet bar" and "office in leau of a kitchen and bedroom respectively, so that I can get it through the city and built. Afterward my client will start the process for the ADU so that the space can be inhabited while Berkeley catches up to its huge backlog.

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19 hours ago, DRAWZILLA said:

YOU MEAN LIKE IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS, YOU WOULD THINK THEY SHOULD LET ME KNOW THAT.

 

I think this stuff is so new,  I  doubt the cities have figured out how to deal with it.  I have one in the works right now.....  I am not sure how this will work out.

 

I know my permit service was not aware of it until I let them know.  It's all new.....

 

BTW,  if I owned a home on a street,  I do  not think I  would want every house on the street to be able to add an ADU.  The parking would be a problem.  Luckily,  I live in a condo and we cannot add on to our homes.

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This project has 2 units on the property and  the owner wants to connect the two, only problem is the rear unit is 1' off the rear property line. I told them it was a crap shoot but will lay out a prelim plan for them( I never thought the city would go for it). The rear unit was per code when it was built, but not if you try to connect the two into one. Might have to do a tear down to make it work.

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There was a similar bill that was passed about 10 years ago. The same reasons were given in that bill as this new bill. That bill also gave the cities the right to govern setbacks, height limits and lot coverage.

 

I found out about that new law before the local building departments did. I submitted my first set of ADU plans to the City of Simi Valley about a month after that bill went into effect.

They of course tried to deny my plans for plan check submittal until I went through the variance process. I then showed them the new law passed by the state of California. They were shocked that they were never informed by the state. This left all of the cities in Ventura county out of compliance with the new law.

 

Fortunately I was able to get a couple of project through before the cities in Ventura County got together and went through the law with a fine tooth comb. What they found was the sate had given them a lot of control over ADU. It looks like this new law does the same. That law also allowed the local jurisdictions to regulated the heights, setbacks and lot coverage required to built a ADU.

 

The City of Simi Valley came up with a rule that in order to build an ADU you are required to have 2 times the minimum lot area required for that zone. Other cities imposed a 150% increase in the minimum lot are in order to build a ADU.

 

This new law says that local ordinances deny approval based on water and sewer services. Well California has been in a drought for many years, I can not imagine cities not using that fact to deny approval of ADU's.

 

Last time this bill was passed the planning departments hated it and did everything they could to restrict ADU's going up everywhere. I can not imagine they will not try and do the same this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under the new law, second units are allowed on any lot with a single-family home, but local ordinances can say where they will or won’t be permitted based on factors such as water and sewer services, traffic flow and public safety.

 

The amended law will allow accessory units up to 1,200 square feet, but allows jurisdictions to impose lower limits and establish standards governing height, setback, lot coverage, landscaping and architectural review.

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Thanks for the info. It's turning out like I thought it would. Leaving it up to each city will not be good for anyone.

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