It’s official! With a slew of new laws going into effect for California, 2020 is the year of the ADU.
In addition to ADUs being easier and less costly than ever to permit, California’s new 2019 Energy Code is now in effect. This means that all new construction in California will be more efficient than ever before.
The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. On October 9, 2019 Governor Gavin Newsome signed the following bills to boost housing in California and eliminate barriers to building ADUs:
68 by Assemblymember Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to
facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The
bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase
production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s
affordable housing supply.
881 by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to
ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria,
clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in
existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require
owner-occupancy for five years.
587 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) provides a narrow
exemption for affordable housing organizations to sell deed-restricted land to
eligible low-income homeowners.
13 by Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) creates a tiered fee structure
which charges ADUs more fairly based on their size and location. The bill also
addresses other barriers by lowering the application approval timeframe,
creating an avenue to get unpermitted ADUs up to code, and enhancing an
enforcement mechanism allowing the state to ensure that localities are
following ADU statute.
671 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) requires local
governments’ housing plans to encourage affordable ADU rentals and requires the
state to develop a list of state grants and financial incentives for affordable
So what does this mean to you? Here are some highlights of
the upcoming changes:
When a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with an ADU or converted into an ADU, a local agency shall not require that those off-street parking spaces be replaced.
Reduces the application approval timeframe to 60 days
and provides that if a local agency has not acted upon the submitted
application within 60 days, the application shall be deemed approved.
Prohibits a local ordinance from requiring an
applicant for an ADU to be an owner occupant.
Allows for a potential of both an ADU and a Junior ADU (via conversion of an existing structure) on a single lot.