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On September 27, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed two separate accessory dwelling unit bills (AB 2299 and SB 1069) into state law. An Accessory Dwelling Unit, commonly referred to as “in law suite” and “granny flat” are additional living spaces on properties zoned as single-family residences that have a separate kitchen, bathroom, and exterior access independent of the primary residence. AB 2299 and SB 1069 makes clear that local city ordinances which do not align with State law shall be “null and void” and that, until a local municipality adopts its own ordinance in accordance with State law, the State standards specified in Government Code §65852.2 shall be enforced. In response, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning has prepared a new ordinance.
Junior Accessory Dwelling Units.
Effective September 29, 2016, Government Code § 65852.22 authorizes all California cities and counties to provide by ordinance authorization for the creation and construction of “Junior Accessory Dwelling Units” within an existing residential dwelling unit zoned as a single family residence. Most importantly, the new law specifically prohibits municipalities from requiring, as a condition of granting a permit for a JUNIOR accessory dwelling unit, to have additional parking. The additional parking requirement has long prohibited many owners from constructing accessory dwelling units in Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and surrounding areas.
In addition to junior accessory dwelling units, each municipality is also now required to allow second units, now called accessory dwelling units (without the junior) on parcels zoned as single family residences and multi-unit dwellings. Second Units (Accessory Dwelling Units) under state law may be subject to deed restrictions, occupancy limits, and certain other standards such as height restrictions, bulk restrictions, limited setbacks, lot coverage, landscape, architectural review, and each municipality may set the maximum size of an accessory dwelling unit. As long as the standards are met, local cities and counties are now required to approve the construction and occupancy of an accessory dwelling unit within 120 days of receipt of a properly submitted application.
Under the new law, a local city and/or county may impose the following requirements:
Under the new law, a local city is required to grant a variance, or special permit, for the creation of a second unit (aka mother-in-law suite, or granny flat) if the second unit complies with ALL of the following:
City of Los Angeles New Regulations / DRAFT Ordinance For Accessory Dwelling Units
In response to the newly enacted state laws and prior court challenges to the City’s limits on Accessory Dwelling Units, the City of Los Angeles Planning Commission approved a draft accessory dwelling unit ordinance in December of 2016 that essentially provides the following:
Other provisions in the DRAFT Ordinance.
Existing unpermited Accessory Dwelling Units, with side and rear setbacks sufficient for fire safety, and with their own exterior entrance may apply for a permit to become an Accessory Dwelling Unit.
Any application for an accessory dwelling unit submitted must be reviewed and either approved or denied within 90 days of submission.
Unfortunately, the City of Los Angeles is still not in compliance as the proposed ordinance remains in draft form. Stay tuned…
Posted In: Real Estate Reporter
Blog Categories:Business Law Bulletin
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Located in Los Angeles, California, the Law Office of Melissa C. Marsh handles business law and corporation law matters as a lawyer for clients throughout Los Angeles including Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village, North Hollywood, Woodland Hills, Hollywood, West LA as well as Riverside County, San Fernando, Ventura County, and Santa Clarita. Attorney Melissa C. Marsh has considerable experience handling business matters both nationally and internationally. We routinely assist our clients with incorporation, forming a California corporation, forming a California llc, partnership, annual minutes, shareholder meetings, director meetings, getting a taxpayer ID number (EIN), buying a business, selling a business, commercial lease review, employee disputes, independent contractors, construction, and personal matters such as preparing a will, living trust, power of attorney, health care directive, and more.