Accessory Dwelling Units
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ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS

On October 8, 2017, Governor Brown signed into law two separate bills: SB 229 (Wieckowski) and AB 494 (Bloom). The bills promote the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, and secondary units. An “accessory dwelling unit” is a second unit on a lot, either detached or contained within the walls of the house on the lot, up to 1,200 square feet, and including cooking, sleeping, and bathroom facilities. Accessory dwelling units may also have relaxed setback and parking requirements. A “junior accessory dwelling unit” may be up to 500 square feet and must have an outside entrance and cooking facilities, but may share bathroom facilities with the main house on the lot.

The legislation gives cities more flexibility for allowing homeowners to build ADUs but does not affect private restrictions in common interest developments. It authorizes local agencies to provide for the creation of accessory dwelling units in areas zoned for single-family or multifamily use.

For more information, see California Department of Housing and Community Development.

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