Marsha Kotlyar Estate Group  |  License #01426886  |  805-565-4014

Important New California Ordinance That Could Affect You!

March 7th, 2017


Your granny could now be legal?!

We wanted to make you aware that there is a new California state ordinance that will allow homeowners in California to legally have an additional dwelling unit on their property. Basically, California lawmakers felt that the housing situation wasn't adequate and new building production hasn't kept up with demand. The state passed AB 2299; the new ordinance that encourages homeowners to legally build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) on their property (regardless of what their local jurisdictions allow).

What is an accessory dwelling unit?

It is a secondary dwelling unit that is independent from a primary residence, often referred to as guest house, guest apartment, cottage, granny unit, etc. It can be attached, detached OR a repurposed existing structure (like a garage). There is also JADU (junior accessory dwelling unit) that is 500 sq feet max.

There are a couple guidelines to know about:

-The homeowner doesn't have to reside in either unit

-There are no rent restrictions, you can make available to the whole rental market

-The max size for ADU is 1200 square feet

-There is no minimum size of the ADU

-There is no minimum lot size to allow an ADU

-There are no new parking requirements if you convert a garage as long as there is street parking

-There are no bathroom or kitchen requirements, meaning you can have a full kitchen in your ADU not just the kitchenette they allow now

-The floor area ratios (FAR) wouldn't apply either (in most cases)

There are still fees involved with ADU and a new permitting process. If the home is located within a private water district, they may require you to hook the ADU to a separate water meter. City of Santa Barbara is public water, and they aren't requiring ADU to have a separate meter.

Also, keep in mind, your property will likely have its value reassessed by the county assessor, thereby raising your property taxes. But doing any permit work would trigger a reassessment. On the bright side, your property value will likely go up with these improvements, making your home worth MORE!

What could be excluded? If your property is located in an association with strict CCR's, those may prevent you from ADU requirements.

What this means for our area? As I'm sure many of you know, both the City of Santa Barbara & County of Santa Barbara guidelines have some pretty strict and tight standards, especially when it pertains to secondary dwelling units. Lot size is a factor, setbacks, parking requirements, etc. For now those things will not be factored in with this new law in place.

Also, if you have something that resembles an ADU that was already completed but done without permits, now is a good time to get those as-built permits done to make it legal.

Those are the basics of this new state ordinance and here is a link to all the details...

Lastly, I'd like to add that this ordinance is legal now but I have no doubt Santa Barbara real estate jurisdictions are already looking for ways to amend it in our local area. So you might have to act fast (because this likely won't be around forever).

If you're interested to learn more about ADU, give us a call and we'll put you in touch with the right people who can guide you through this process.

What do you think about this new law?

‹ Back to Articles