Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance Update

In September 2016, Image descriptionGovernor Brown signed two legislative acts that comprised the new law governing accessory dwelling units (ADUs), AB 2299 and SB 1069, both of which came into effect on January 1, 2017. The new statute amended various sections of Government Code section 65852.2 which regulates accessory dwelling units (formerly called second dwelling units) and invalidates a local agency’s existing accessory dwelling unit ordinance if it does not comply with all requirements of the newly adopted state standards. The intent of the new law is to reduce the regulatory, physical and financial barriers to constructing accessory dwelling units and encourage construction of smaller, often more affordable housing options, for seniors, young adults, and others who are affected by the housing shortage in California.

On March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an Interim Ordinance (Ordinance No. 4507) to regulate accessory dwelling units in non-coastal areas as an Urgency Measure, pursuant to Government Code section 65858. A summary of the new provisions in the ADU Interim Ordinance is provided in the link below. Ordinance No. 4507 will be in effect for non-coastal areas for 45 days (until April 28, 2017).

Image descriptionOn April 18, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an extension to the ADU Interim Ordinance (Ordinance No. 4509). The ADU Interim Ordinance Extension carried over the same provisions that were adopted in Ordinance 4507. The ADU Interim Ordinance Extension will be in effect for 10 months and 15 days (until March 13, 2018). Planning staff will utilize this time to draft a permanent ordinance regulating accessory dwelling units prior to the expiration of the ADU Interim Ordinance Extension. The permanent accessory dwelling unit ordinance update will include several opportunities for public comment and input including a Planning Commission Hearing, a Board of Supervisors Study Session and a Board of Supervisors Hearing.

With regard to ADUs in the coastal areas, a memo from the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission providing guidance on the new ADU legislation and how it applies in the coastal areas is available below.

Any questions or comments regarding the Interim ADU Ordinance or the Permanent ADU Ordinance Update can be directed to the project planner, Charles Anthony, by email at