Pixel Tracker

Monday, January 21 , 2019, 6:42 pm | Fair 58º


David Kim: California Eases Restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units

In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed three laws, Assembly Bill 2299, Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2406. The legislation promotes secondary dwelling units which now are referred to as accessory dwelling units (ADU).

The new mandate went into effect on Jan. 1.

Accessory dwelling units are defined as housing structures that provide complete independent living facilities and include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel as another dwelling.

The dwellings can be constructed within, be attached to or be detached from the main dwelling unit.

The ADU mandate in theory will help defeat the affordable housing crisis in California by forcing cities to alter their ADU ordinances to be in compliance with the new mandate.

The new mandate will remove “the most egregious obstacles to building these units, will help to increase the supply of affordable housing in California and allow more people to remain in the communities they call home,” State Sen. Bob Wieckowski said in a press release.

A few of the obstacles that would be eliminated with the addition of new provisions include:

Setback requirements for certain types of ADUs, including garages or a side or rear setback ADU; prohibiting municipalities from imposing certain parking standards, and reducing water and sewer fees for certain types of ADUs.

Furthermore, ADUs of any kind are not required to provide fire sprinklers if they are not required in the primary residence.

On a local level, the recently adopted state legislation, Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), supersedes local jurisdiction regulations for Secondary Dwelling Units.

At this time, none of the cities nor the county in the South Coast have adopted any new ordinance which addresses this new state law.

That means that right now the state law is applicable to ADU projects until jurisdictions create their own ordinances which should be within the next few months.

It’s important to note, though, that projects within the Coastal Zone still fall under the permitting requirements of the Coastal Act.  

— David M. Kim is a licensed real estate broker with Village Properties and the 2017 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at [email protected] or 805.296.0662. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
Gary Welterlen and Carla Reeves
"We both love this business. We strive to make life long relationships from each real estate transaction."

Full Profile >