ADU – New Accessory Dwelling Laws

ADU cost

ADU – New Accessory Dwelling Laws.

California enacted laws in regards to Accessory Dwellings that went into effect January 1, 2020. Most Bay Area Counties updated their Ordinances to reflect these new laws in March of 2020. Santa Clara Ordinance No. NS-1200.371
See our ADU models that can be easily modified to fit your backyard.
Sometimes referred to as “in-law units” or “secondary units,” these are self-contained housing units that are secondary to the main residence. They are often located in backyards of single-family lots, but can also be attached to the main house. As such, they unlock the opportunity for development within the existing fabric of our single family residential neighborhoods, adding capacity and creating units that, by nature of their smaller size, are more affordable to build and rent. Especially in Santa Clara County, where the primary land use is single family homes, secondary units can play a critical role in alleviating the affordability crisis by increasing the supply of housing while working within the confines of existing zoning policies. Consider these numbers:  just 10 percent of the approximately 342,500 single family homeowners in Santa Clara County were to add accessory units to their properties, we could add more than 34,000 units to our housing stock – 34,000 naturally affordable units that can reduce the gap of at least 67,000 homes needed for low- and moderate-income households throughout the county. This can help prevent displacement of teachers, nurses, service workers and other key members of our community.  The units can help keep families together, often providing a way for retirees or returning college graduates to continue living near family, when they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to stay. Furthermore, accessory units promote equitable home ownership: As a potential source of rental income, they can open doors to home ownership for those who otherwise cannot afford a mortgage, or they can help current homeowners afford to stay. How Progress Builders can help. We are developing architectural and structural plans, work with the city to obtain a building permit and providing construction of ADU’s. We are covering the process from A to Z to be a one-stop-shop for your ADU development project. Size varies from 400 to 1200 sq.ft. With little modification any In-law unit can fit on your lot and can be built really fast, so you can rent them out and start making profit this year.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the changes to the ADU laws:

        •   Can I build an ADU on my property?
            • If your lot is a legal lot of record that has an existing single-family residence (or a single-family residence is being constructed on it) in a residential or mixed-use zone, California State Law allows you to build up to one ADU and one Jr. ADU if there are adequate water and sewage services, minimum setback requirements are maintained, and fire and life safety standards are met. ADUs are subject to building code standards, including planning review and building permits, and may have additional requirements, such as parking.
        • How many ADUs can ​I build?
            • You may build up to one ADU and one Jr. ADU if your property qualifies. An ADU may be attached or detached from the primary residence. A Jr. ADU must be attached.
        • What if my lot is deed restricted​ or my HOA bars ADUs?
            • Under California State Law, deed restrictions and HOA rules that ban ADUs are void. But restrictions that do not unreasonably increase the construction cost or effectively prohibit construction of an ADU or Jr. ADU are allowed.
        • Must I live on the p​roperty?
          • California State Law does not require you to reside on the property between January 1, 2020 and at least January 1, 2025 in order to construct an ADU. But for Jr. ADUs, state law allows jurisdictions to require owner-occupancy of either the main residence or the Jr. ADU.
      • What if I have an existing ADU that is in violation of the building codes?
          • An owner may request a 5-year delay in enforcement of the building codes, which will be granted unless the violation impacts health and safety requirements.