Accessory Dwelling Units

As a result of the housing crisis in the State of California, the legislature has recently revised California State Government Code Section 65852.2 that requires local jurisdictions to allow Accessory Dwelling Units ( ADU’s) by-right under certain mandatory development standards.

As a result, it is now possible for properties zoned as single family residences to add an ADU to their property in a number of configurations including attached, detected, above garage, garage conversion or even by simply converting the garage. In addition to these conversions, a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) can be configured within the floor plan of the existing residence.

Although the state has allowed ADU’s, each jurisdiction has interpreted and enacted their own specific requirements that vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; however, in general, the following apply:

  • There must be one efficiency kitchen, one bathroom and one bedroom with a closet
  • ·A separate entrance shall be provided (Both ADJ and JADU)
  • Minimal set-backs shall be provided generally 4’-0” from side & rear property line and 10’-0” from other buildings on the same lot
  • Attached garages may be converted to an ADU, however, structural must meet the standards
  • Manufactured homes can be considered ADU’s

The best way to approach these new regulations is to have preliminary plans prepared and visit with the local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) to coordinate with they and get their input as to what exactly is available.