Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance Update

In September 2016, Governor 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 law amended various sections of Government Code section 65852.2 which regulates ADUs (formerly called Second Dwelling Units) and invalidates a local agency’s existing ADU 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 ADUs to 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 a temporary Interim Ordinance (Ordinance No. 4507) as an Urgency Measure, pursuant to Government Code section 65858. The summary of the new provisions in the ADU Interim Ordinance is provided in the link below. Ordinance No. 4507 became effective upon adoption and will be in effect for non-coastal areas for 45 days (until April 28, 2017). The regulations in effect for ADUs in coastal areas will default to state standards, as set by Government Code Section 65852.2.

In April, Planning Division Staff will request an extension of the Interim Ordinance from the Board of Supervisors for 10 months and 15 days, pursuant to State Government Code section 65858(a). This time will be utilized to conduct a comprehensive review of the County’s ADU regulations before drafting a permanent ADU Ordinance. The permanent ordinance will go through the County’s formal ordinance amendment process, including a hearing before the Planning Commission before going back to the Board of Supervisors for review and adoption.