How ADU Laws Have Changed in California


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A few laws regarding ADUs (accessory dwelling units) have changed in California.
If you haven’t heard, the Senate in Sacramento has passed new bills that enact a couple of changes regarding ADUs.
The first bill, AB 881, has three key aspects to note:
The first aspect of the bill changes the language about setbacks, which are the amounts of space you can build up to the property line, making them smaller. Now that space is limited to four feet instead of the 10 or so feet you were allowed before (depending on your city or county).
The second part to note is that they’ve made the square footage of the ADU itself larger. For instance, if you have a 3,000-square-foot house on a 13,000-square-foot lot, you can go up to almost half the size of the house, to a maximum of 1,200 feet. If you have a smaller house, say 1,100 square feet, the maximum you can go up to is 800 square feet. This change adds a substantial amount of square footage to your house that you can use as in-law quarters, or even rent it out for income.
The third aspect of Bill 881 is that it shortens the amount of time you can get approval from the city. Where it was once 120 days, it has now been reduced to 60 days. This makes it a lot faster for people to get their permits billed, which has been taking longer these days due to a land shortage.

SB 12 removes a hurdle that people typically have to jump when building an ADU.

The second bill passed was AB 670. If you live in a neighborhood that has CCNRs and HOAs, this bill will change a few things. Let’s say you have a 13,000-square-foot lot and an HOA has been added to your neighborhood. The new bill allows you to add an ADU to your home regardless of your CCNRs or HOA.
The third bill was Senate Bill 12. This bill eliminates the fees associated with getting permits for ADUs, and if they’re under 700 square feet, then those ADUs will have no additional fees levied on the property. This removes a hurdle that people typically have to jump when building an ADU.
If you have any questions or comments about today’s topic, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you.

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