ADUs are an increasingly popular way of elevating property value, creating additional housing space on a property, or adding additional functionality to a main building. Their growing popularity in California has led to legislative support in recent years, the most important of which is the set of ADU Ordinance Laws in 2020.
A series of law revisions surrounding accessory dwelling units went into effect on January 1st 2020 in California.
The revisions were meant to ease and regulate constructions of ADUs for property owners, investors, developers and construction companies, with one of the goals being to help reduce the housing shortage in the region.
Following the changes, it’s considerably easier to construct a new residential ADU, or convert an existing building into one suitable for use as a dwelling, thanks to Assembly Bills 881, 670, and 68, as well as Senate Bill 13.
These bills have left many homeowners and investors with questions, so we prepared a list of the most important changes and explanations to help you fully interpret the new ordinance.
Starting with the Assembly Bill 881, a lot of ambiguities surrounding ADUs were cleared up, and minor improvements were introduced.
Assembly Bill 86 focuses on a new ADU category, the junior accessory dwelling unit – Jr. ADU. This unit is categorized as a portion of the main building converted to serve a different purpose in practical terms, and with the new bill, it functions differently in legal ways too.
The main structural factor that defines the Junior ADU is its connection to the main building. For example, a Junior ADU could be an attached garage that is converted into a studio unit. In total, this change allows for a total of 3 units on a single family lot.
These bills pertain mostly to permits. In short, these are the biggest takeaways you need to know:
A sea of opportunity has opened up for construction of ADUs in California. If you were preparing to take steps in constructing an ADU, now is a perfect time.
The permitting process has been greatly simplified and sped up, allowing you to fit the project in tighter development schedules. The financial aspects of ADUs have been greatly relaxed as well. Removing parking space requirements and size requirements gives owners greater budget flexibility.
Finally, and most importantly, ADUs can now help the owner pay back their investment quicker. With the housing shortage on the market, affordable dwellings are sought after, and ADUs have never been easier to legally rent out.
All of this is great news, but there will still be legal roadblocks on a case-by-case basis to constructing your ADUs. We recommend contacting a professional architectural company to handle the whole process for you, from obtaining a permit to the construction itself.
If you want to further explore the ADU construction potential on your lot, or want to discuss a potential project, contact Yakov Build and get the most out of your property.