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What is the new ADU approval process, under State law?






Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) commonly referred to as Granny Flats, In Law Units or Guest Houses have gained popularity for compelling reasons;


They significantly enhance the value of your property.

They provide a cost construction option for garage remodels.

They create opportunities for income considering the soaring rent prices.

They offer affordable and private housing solutions for families.

They allow for shared living spaces that cater to the needs of seniors who wish to age at home.


Since 2023 California has implemented ADU regulations resulting in a surge of ADU construction projects. Recent data indicates that 14% of all permitted homes, in the state are ADUs. Here is a breakdown of the changes brought by the 2023 ADU legislation;


**Height Restrictions (AB 2221);**

For buildings, up to 16 feet tall there are no limitations in any situation.

If the building is up to 18 feet tall it is allowed if the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is located near transit or if there is already a two story family dwelling on the property.

Buildings up to 25 feet tall are permitted for ADUs that are attached to the house based on the zoning code of the site.


hillstar Garage conversion
hillstar Garage conversion to ADU


**3. Setback Definitions;**

For ADUs than 800 feet there are no requirements for setbacks from the front that can hinder their construction.


**4. Regulation on Unpermitted Structures (Senate Bill 897);**

Previously homeowners were required to bring structures up to codes. However this law removes that obligation unless the unpermitted structure poses a risk to health or safety.


**5. Fire Safety (SB 897);**

When adding an ADU fire sprinklers will not be mandatory for the house.


**6. Other Noteworthy Adjustments;**

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) attached to the house can share a bathroom.

The issuance of an ADU permit ensures that demolition permits cannot be withheld.

Introduction of the California ADU Fund, for beneficiaries.


**7.. Lot Splits (Senate Bill 9 2022);** Homeowners have the opportunity to convert their house into a duplex if they meet requirements. Moreover if homeowners have lived in the property for three years they can even divide their lot. Have two duplexes.


**8. Additional Units (AB 68);**

**Single Family Homes;** Homeowners are allowed to add an ADU ( size of 1,200 sq. Ft.). A JADU (maximum size of 500 sq. Ft., within the existing structure).

**Multifamily Dwellings;** Within structures multiple ADUs can be. Up to two detached ADUs are permitted on each lot.


**9. Local ADU Laws Restrictions;**

The state has implemented laws that prevent governments from imposing barriers such as;

Requiring specific lot coverage or size.

Mandating replacement parking when an ADU replaces parking spaces.

Allowing restrictions on ADU constructions by HOAs.

Charging impact fees for ADUs that're under 750 sq. Ft.

Demanding owner occupancy for either the ADU or main dwelling (except, for JADUs).


There may be individuals who choose to postpone carrying out these guidelines or potentially dispute them through means. It is essential to take into account the differences and nuances of each locality when strategizing for your AD

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