Top real estate developers agree that the Bay Area real estate accessory dwelling unit (ADU) initiatives will impact the future of real estate investing for generations. ADU's may be the most important investments current homeowners can make in the next couple of years. ADU's have historically been difficult to build in past years because of prohibitive planning and building codes, in the future, these lax current conditions may change at anytime. The time to build is NOW!
Whether your goal is to have a rental income paying your current home expenses or interested in helping the communities housing crisis by offering below market rent, one fact remains, ADU's are vital to our Bay Area community.
In 2016, the State of California adopted legislation pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), formerly referred to as Second Dwelling Units. Cities across California changed zoning ordinances to be consistent with the new State law. In an effort to assist residents with the new standards, the State has put together a handout to answer frequently asked questions.
An ADU is a living unit that provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons and includes areas for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel as the existing single family dwelling unit.
An ADU is permitted in single and multiple family residential zones, on properties where there is one existing single family residence.
Yes, in all cases a building permit is required. Fees may be non-existent in some cities. Property owners interested in constructing an ADU on their property are encouraged to talk to Planning Division Staff of their city prior to preparing construction documents, to discuss their concept and verify what permits will be needed.
Yes. The property owner must live on the property in either the primary residence or the ADU, and the other unit may be rented.
Depends on the city of jurisdiction.
Yes, provided the structure was legally constructed with building permits and the structure can be upgraded to meet the building code requirements for a living unit. When an existing garage or other accessory structure is converted to an ADU, no additional building setback is required. The ADU must have independent exterior access from the existing residence.
Yes, provided the garage was legally constructed with building permits and the structure can be upgraded to meet the building code requirements for a second story and a living unit.
An ADU must provide one parking space. The parking space may be covered or uncovered and can be provided on an existing driveway. If the required parking for primary residence is displaced by ADU and one additional parking space is provided for the ADU, then the replacement parking spaces for the primary residence may be covered, uncovered, tandem, or spaces created by mechanical automobile parking lifts.
Parking for an ADU may be waived in any of the following instances:
a. The ADU is located within one-half mile of public transit, including transit stations and bus stations.
b. The ADU is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
c. The ADU is part of the existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure.
d. When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupants of the ADU.
e. When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the ADU.