Add up to 2 Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to your home today!
The State of California just made it WAY easier to add Accessory Dwelling Units to your home – yes, up to 2 additional units! With our ADU building experience, we serve as an all-inclusive resource to help you evaluate, design, finance, build, and even lease-up and manage your completed ADUs.
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Lease-Up & Property Management
NEW CALIFORNIA STATE LAW
New 2020 California Law allows property owners to build ADUs AND Junior ADUs on R1 lots. This new Junior ADU concept allows for up to 3 units on most single-family lots. The Junior ADU can be converted from an existing structure such as a garage, recreation room, or storage room. It can also be converted from a portion of the existing home or can attached to a free-standing ADU.
Common Property Layouts
- Detached ADU & Junior ADU
DETACHED ADU AND JUNIOR ADU
This situation typically comes from a conversion of the existing detached 2-car garage to the Junior ADU with a new ADU being built on top of the Junior ADU or directly adjacent to it.
- This design maximizes rear yard space with the 2nd story ADU on top of garage
- 2nd story units must adhere to 4’ setback even if 1st floor structure does not
- Parking eliminated to construct an ADU does not need to be replaced
- Detached ADU & Attached Junior ADU
DETACHED ADU & ATTACHED JUNIOR ADU
This situation typically comes from a layout with an existing front attached garage being converted to the Junior ADU and a new free-standing ADU being built in the rear yard area. This situation can also occur with a conversion of a portion of the home to the Junior ADU.
- You can add up to 150 new square feet to a Junior ADU converted from an existing space
- This setup gives the ADU a more private and premium feeling with no shared walls
- Attached Junior ADUs must have separate entrances and separate kitchen and bath facilities
What You Need to Know:
1. You cannot use ANY ADUs (regular or junior) for short-term rentals (less than 30 days).
2. Cities cannot impose owner occupancy requirements on any ADUs for 5 years! This is huge as many cities were only issuing ADU permits for owner-occupants. This will make it much easier for investors and second-home owners to add ADUs.
3. You can set up the property with separating utility metering for each unit to pass ALL utility costs on to the tenants. This creates extremely low-cost rental units.
4. Overhead power lines will require additional setbacks and can delay the process significantly (especially if you are under LADWP’s jurisdiction…)
5. Be aware of where the sewer line runs on the property!You cannot run the sewer lines from the ADUs underneath the main home so it can take some creative plumbing to run the lines properly depending upon if the connection is at the front or rear of the property.
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New California Laws Regarding ADUs
Assembly Bill No. 68 – Junior ADUs
“(4) Existing law requires ministerial approval of a building permit to create within a zone for single-family use one accessory dwelling unit per single-family lot, subject to specified conditions and requirements.
This bill would instead require ministerial approval of an application for a building permit within a residential or mixed-use zone to create the following: (1) one accessory dwelling unit and one junior accessory dwelling unit per lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling if certain requirements are met;”
Assembly Bill No. 881 – Lot Size, Setbacks, Parking, Processing Times
(2) Existing law requires an ordinance providing for the creation of accessory dwelling units, as described above, to impose standards on accessory dwelling units, including, among other things, lot coverage. Existing law also requires such an ordinance to require that the accessory dwelling units be either attached to, or located within, the living area of the proposed or existing primary dwelling, or detached from the proposed or existing primary dwelling and located on the same lot as the proposed or existing primary dwelling.
This bill would delete the provision authorizing the imposition of standards on lot coverage and would prohibit an ordinance from imposing requirements on minimum lot size. The bill would revise the requirements for an accessory dwelling unit by providing that the accessory dwelling unit may be attached to, or located within, an attached garage, storage area, or an accessory structure, as defined.
(3) Existing law prohibits a local agency from requiring a setback for an existing garage that is converted to an accessory dwelling unit or to a portion of an accessory dwelling unit. Existing law requires that an accessory dwelling unit that is constructed above a garage have a setback of no more than 5 feet.
This bill would instead prohibit a setback requirement for an existing living area or accessory structure or a structure constructed in the same location and to the same dimensions as an existing structure that is converted to an accessory dwelling unit or to a portion of an accessory dwelling unit. The bill would also instead require a setback of no more than 4 feet for an accessory dwelling unit that is not converted from an existing structure or a new structure constructed in the same location and to the same dimensions as an existing structure.
(4) Existing law provides that replacement offstreet parking spaces, required by a local agency when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit or converted to an accessory dwelling unit, may be located in any configuration on the same lot as the accessory dwelling unit, except as provided.
This bill would instead prohibit a local agency from requiring the replacement of offstreet parking spaces when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished or converted, as described above.
(5) Existing law requires a local agency to ministerially approve or deny a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit within 120 days of receiving the application.
This bill would instead require a local agency to ministerially approve or deny a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit or junior accessory dwelling unit within 60 days from the date the local agency receives a completed application if there is an existing single-family or multifamily dwelling on the lot. The bill would authorize the permitting agency to delay acting on the permit application if the permit application is submitted with a permit application to create a new single-family or multifamily dwelling on the lot, as specified.
Senate Bill No. 13 – Impact Fees, Owner Occupancy
(4) Existing law prohibits a local agency from utilizing standards to evaluate a proposed accessory dwelling unit on a lot that is zoned for residential use that includes a proposed or existing single-family dwelling other than the criteria described above, except that, among one other exception, a local agency may require an applicant for a permit to be an owner-occupant of either the primary or accessory dwelling unit as a condition of issuing a permit.
This bill, until January 1, 2025, would instead prohibit a local agency from imposing an owner-occupant requirement as described above.
(6) Existing law requires fees for an accessory dwelling unit to be determined in accordance with the Mitigation Fee Act. Existing law also requires the connection fee or capacity charge for an accessory dwelling unit requiring a new or separate utility connection to be based on either the accessory dwelling unit’s size or the number of its plumbing fixtures.
This bill would prohibit a local agency, special district, or water corporation from imposing any impact fee, as specified, upon the development of an accessory dwelling unit less than 750 square feet, and would require any impact fees to be charged for an accessory dwelling unit of 750 square feet or more to be proportional to the square footage of the primary dwelling unit. The bill would revise the basis for calculating the connection fee or capacity charge specified above to either the accessory dwelling unit’s square feet or the number of its drainage fixture unit values, as specified.
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