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Accessory Dwelling Units

Effective January 1, 2017, recently adopted state legislation (AB 2299 and SB 1069) amended Government Code Section 65852.2 regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), superseding the sections of the City's regulations for “secondary dwelling units” (applicable in the residential single unit zones) and “accessory dwelling units” (applicable in the residential two unit zones) that were inconsistent with Government Code Section 65852.2. Until the City adopts its own ADU ordinance, it is required to ministerially approve ADUs if the unit complies with Government Code Section 65852.2. The provisions of the amended state law also apply in the Coastal Zone but a proposed ADU may require a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) depending on the project type. 

In compliance with state law and as directed by City Council in April 2017, the City is proposing to amend Title 30 of the Municipal Code, The Zoning Ordinance, to adopt local development regulations related to ADUs. The City’s Housing Element Policy H15 encourages ADUs as a means to provide additional rental housing in single family zones, and also recognizes that Santa Barbara has unique characteristics that warrant some additional local oversight of these units. The City’s ADU ordinance will likely address aspects such as applicability within High Fire Hazard areas, zoning designations, minimum lot size, and maximum unit size.

Resources

The California Department of Housing and Community Development released an Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum to provide guidance in implementing these new regulations.  

Please refer to the Accessory Dwelling Unit handout for submittal options.

Please refer to Government Code 65852.2 for more information about Accessory Dwelling Units legislation.
 

Upcoming Meetings

The next public hearing to discuss proposed regulations for ADUs will occur with the Planning Commission, on January 11, 2018.

Last Meeting

On Tuesday, October 24, 2017, City Council held a public hearing and provided direction to staff related to development regulations for ADUs, and initiated an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance (Titles 28 and 30) establishing regulations for ADUs. The agenda and staff report for this item may be found on the City Council webpage and on the Public Meetings webpage.

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the Planning Commission held a hearing to initiate an amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to adopt an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance and forward a recommendation to City Council for adoption.  A motion was made and passed to continue indefinitely the discussion of recommended changes to the Draft ADU Ordinance.  The agenda and staff report for this item can be found at the Planning Commission webpage and on the Public Meetings webpage link on this page (right column, above).   

To receive updates and notices, click here to create a “MySB Quick Subscriptions” Account. Scroll down to the Newsletters & Bulletins section and select “Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)”.

Design Review

The City is proposing a process for administrative architectural design review of ADUs as a ministerial action by a Community Development Director appointed representative.  The standards for such review would be incorporated into the Single Family Design Board (SFDB) General Design Guidelines & Meeting Procedures, last revised in 2011.  A preliminary draft of amendments to the SFDB General Design Guidelines & Meeting Procedures and Draft ADU Ordinance standards was discussed with the Single Family Design Board and Historic Landmarks Commission in July 2017.  Further work on the administrative standards is anticipated after the City Council hearing in October 2017.  For staff reports and presentation materials, click on the Public Meetings webpage link in the Stay Informed box on this page (right column above). 

The agendas for these items can be found at the Historic Landmarks Commission web page and the Single Family Design Board web page

Project Contact

This work effort is being conducted by the Planning Division of the Community Development Department in conjunction with Jerry Hittleman, Senior Planner from Rincon Consultants, Inc. For questions about the state law or the City’s amendment to the Zoning Ordinance establishing local regulations for ADUs, email ADU: ADU@santabarbaraca.gov or contact (805) 897-1971 and your call will be directed.

For questions about zoning compliance and building permits for ADUs, please refer to the Accessory Dwelling Unit handout above or stop by the permit counters at 630 Garden Street, or call the Planning/Zoning Counter at (805) 564-5578. 

GET INVOLVED

We have a newsletter! To receive updates and notices, click here to visit our MySB Quick Subscriptions page. Scroll down to the Newsletters & Bulletins section and select “Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)”  and then enter your email and security text to be put on the mailing list.

Last Updated: Dec 12, 2017
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