Posted June, 2022
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), both commonly referred to as Granny Flats, In-Law Units, or Guest Houses, have become very popular for many reasons:
The State of California continues to pass ADU laws lifting restrictions, and making it easier and more affordable to build Accessory Dwelling Units. Because of the new laws, California ADU construction has surged. Building Departments across California went from issuing around 9,000 ADU permits in 2018, to almost 12,392 permits in 2020. According to the Department of Housing and Community Development, there is a 30% year-to-year increase in ADU production.
In 2022, the ADU law that has gained the most attention is Senate Bill (SB) 9. This relates to duplexes and lot-splits. SB 9 provides for the ministerial approval of converting existing homes occupied by a homeowner into a duplex if certain eligibility restrictions are satisfied. It also allows a single-family home lot to be split into two lots, and a duplex to be built on each lot, provided that the initial home is occupied by the owner as their primary residence for at least three years. There are exceptions and restrictions to SB 9 that need to be fully understood. Some key points of SB 9:
There are exceptions and restrictions to SB 9 that need to be fully understood.
Summary of New ADU Rules in California:
The big news – landlords and homeowners can now add 2 more units – an ADU and a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) – on any residential lot. This means you can now legally create a triplex on every single lot in the state according to the new ADU laws in California. What’s more, AB 68 allows you to do so without requiring additional parking if your property is less than 1/2 mile from public transportation.
“Public Transit” now includes various means of transportation that charge set fees, run on fixed routes and are available to the public.
Additional units can now be added to existing multi-family buildings like apartment complexes. Building owners can convert any non-habitable rooms, like attics, basements, garages, etc. into legal additional units.
Under AB 68, municipalities will be required to approve the following:
Single Family Homes:
Other Restrictions that are Prohibited on Local ADU Laws
To further remove barriers to the approval of ADU plans, various state laws now prohibit local governments from imposing the following:
Interpreting the Law
Please note that this summary is based solely on the State Ordinance. Therefore, is important to note that each City and County will release their own ADU rules and regulations in response to the new state laws. Some Cities and Counties may defer the effective date or challenge the state through legal channels in order to meet their own codes. Variations of these State rules will differ at each city and county.
Given the complexity of the new laws and the resulting City or County interpretations, it is even more critical that you consult a licensed architect who knows the ins and outs of the new ADU laws in California – and EZ Plans is here for you!
We are a full-service residential architecture service with experienced, licensed architects who are experts on the new rules and are capable of designing your dream home and ADUs. View the cost of ADU plans and contact us today to start designing a floor plan and permit your ADU additions.