To ensure the delivery of City of Santa Barbara/Community Development Newsletter e-mails to your inbox,
please take a moment to add to your e-mail Address Book or Safe List.

Seal of the City of Santa Barbara

City of Santa Barbara
Land Development Team Bulletin
Volume #206, 1/22/2020

Update on the City's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance



The LDT Bulletin is one way we are increasing communication between the City and our customers. These bulletins will also be located in our lobby area at 630 Garden Street.

We hope you'll find the contents of this issue useful. However, if you prefer not to receive this publication in the future, simply send us an email to:


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

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.

Privacy Statement

The City of Santa Barbara respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal information. Your email address will be used solely for the purpose of the City of Santa Barbara to contact you regarding Land Development Team updates.


To subscribe to this bulletin, logon to our website subscriptions page at and sign up for the Land Development Team (LDT) Bulletin under "Newsletters Bulletins."

City of Santa Barbara/Community Development
630 Garden Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
T. (805) 564-5485, ext. 2653