Chapter 07: Can ADU Housing Solve the Current Crisis in California?
ADU Housing is just one of many tools the California State Senate is using to attempt to address the current housing crisis. Accessory dwelling units provide housing for family members, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled, and others, at below market prices within existing neighborhoods and add units and are an essential component of our housing supply.
The state legislature recognizes the importance of allowing ADU housing in areas zoned for single family and multi-family housing, stating "Accessory dwelling units are a valuable form of housing in California."
In 2017, the state declared all existing local ordinance that is not in compliance with the new changes to ADU housing laws to be null and void. Local governments must now apply the state standards in the event they lack local ordinances governing the development of accessory dwelling units.
For example, a city or municipality cannot require large minimum lot sizes that burden the development of ADU housing. Two key bills were recently passed, which help to reduce barriers and costs and help to streamline the approval for accessory dwelling units.
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. The bill also prohibits parking requirements for ADU housing located within a half mile of public transit or located within one block of a car share area.
SB 1069 It also prohibits local agencies from charging utility connection fees or capacity charges or from requiring an ADU applicant to install a new or separate utility connection. The ADU does not have to have a separate meter, if the owner so wishes.
AB 2299 requires local governments to grant ministerial approval on ADU housing if it complies with parking requirements, allowable size, and setback requirements. Namely, it should offer at least one parking space per bedroom and be no larger than 1200 sf or 50% of the main unit to be approved.
Overall, the new legislation in California has created an environment that is ripe for ADU housing development.
The 2019 Guide to Building an ADU in California
(Including Financing Options)
For homeowners who want to make the smartest investment when building a backyard cottage, granny flat, accessory dwelling unit, or garage apartment.