CITY ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT ORDINANCE UPDATE
In October 2019, Governor Newsom signed a package of new housing bills including several that significantly amended rules for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior ADUs (JADUs). As a result, the City's ADU Ordinance (Santa Barbara Municipal Code Section 30.185.040, adopted in 2018) was rendered null and void as of January 1, 2020. This means that ADU and JADU applications submitted after January 1, 2020 and not subject to the temporary prohibitions described below will be processed in accordance with California Government Code Section 65852.2 or 65852.22 until amendments to the City's ADU Ordinance are adopted.
On December 17, 2019, City Council unanimously adopted an Interim Ordinance to temporarily prohibit ADUs and JADUs in the Foothill and Extreme Foothill High Fire Hazard Areas and on properties containing or immediately adjacent to historic resources if an ADU might substantially change the significance of the historic resource. On January 14, 2020, City Council unanimously extended the Interim Ordinance until December 17, 2020.
Staff is currently working on amendments to the City's ADU regulations, including the two known issues that require further study: evacuation of high fire hazard areas; and the potential of ADUs to adversely impact historic resources. Staff expects to incorporate the provisions of the 2018 ordinance that are consistent with state law, and anticipates adoption of a new City ADU Ordinance in May 2020.
For links to state law and the ordinances discussed above and to stay informed on future public hearings, please visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/ADU.
For prospective ADU applicants, an optional pre-application zoning plan check is available with the applicable fee to receive feedback on consistency of your project with state and local regulations prior to submitting for a building permit.