What is an ADU?

A question I’ve been getting often - what is an ADU? 

ADU is an acronym for Accessory Dwelling Unit, sometimes referred to as a granny flat, casita, apartment, or garage conversion. 

Effective January 1, 2020, the California legislature updated laws to maximize the development of ADUs statewide. These laws include allowing ADUs to be built within single-family zoned areas, reduced parking requirements, and preventing homeowners associations from banning or restricting construction of ADUs. 

Take a look at a few of the key laws below:

Processing Timelines (AB 68/AB 881)  - Requires 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. 

Lot Size (AB 68/AB 881) - Prohibits an ordinance from imposing requirements on minimum lot size.

Parking Requirements (AB 68/AB 881) - Parking requirements for accessory dwelling units shall not exceed one parking space per unit or per bedroom, whichever is less. These spaces may be provided as tandem parking on a driveway. 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, the local agency shall not require that those offstreet parking spaces be replaced.

Owner Occupancy (SB13) - A local agency shall not impose an owner-occupant requirement on an accessory dwelling unit permitted between January 1, 2020 to January 1, 2025, during which time the local agency was prohibited from imposing an owner-occupant requirement.

Maximum Size (SB13) - The total floor area of an attached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 50 percent of the proposed or existing primary dwelling living area or 1,200 square feet. The total floor area for a detached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 1,200 square feet.

HOA Restrictions (AB 670) - Any covenant, restriction, or condition contained in any deed, contract, security instrument, or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of any interest in a planned development, and any provision of a governing document, that either effectively prohibits or unreasonably restricts the construction or use of an accessory dwelling unit or junior accessory dwelling unit on a lot zoned for single-family residential use that meets the requirements of Section 65852.2 or 65852.22 of the Government Code, is void and unenforceable.

So, what does this mean?

We don’t know exactly how these laws will impact us and our neighborhoods, but we can conclude that there will be more people living in single-family zoned neighborhoods. 

As always, call or text me with any questions. I would love to hear from you - (949) 212-1433. 

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