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Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations

State Law and ADU Ordinance Update

In 2017 and 2019, the State legislature amended Government Code §65852.2 and added Government Code §65852.22 to ease development standards and facilitate the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs).

On November 10, 2020, City Council adopted amendments to the Inland Zoning Ordinance Title 30 subsection §30.185.040 Accessory Dwelling Units, effective on December 10, 2020. Council also adopted amendments to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance Title 28 new Chapter 28.86. The Title 28 amendments are not effective for the Coastal Zone until certified by the California Coastal Commission and accepted by City Council, anticipated in 2021. In the meantime, ADU projects in the Coastal Zone will be reviewed under State law regulations.

Advisory for Current ADU Permit Applications

ADU permit applications received prior to the effective date of the ordinance amendments (December 10, 2020) were reviewed pursuant to State Law (California Government Code §65852.2, effective January 1, 2020). The recently adopted ADU Ordinance amendments will be in effect December 10, 2020. The following applies to all ADU building permit applications on properties outside of the Coastal Zone:

  • If you have submitted an ADU building permit application but have not yet been issued a building permit by December 10, 2020, you will have an additional 60 days (until February 8, 2021) to obtain a building permit issued under State Law regulations.
  • You may choose to revise your building permit application to take advantage of the regulations in the City's ADU Ordinance. If you choose this option, please do not re-submit plans until after December 10, 2020.
  • If your existing ADU building permit is not issued by February 8, 2021, or if you choose to use amended City ADU Ordinance, you may continue to use the same building permit application record# (BLD) to submit plans. However, planning staff will assess a new zoning plan check fee in the amount of $585 and perform another initial zoning plan check which may include new or revised comments.

If your project is in the Coastal Zone, it will continue to be subject to State Law regulations for ADUs until such time as the City’s ADU Ordinance is certified by the California Coastal Commission, anticipated in 2021.

Resources

City Adopted Regulations and Information

For More Information

For questions about adoption of the City’s ordinance in compliance with updates to state law, email staff at ADU@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.

Subscribe using the STAY INFORMED box located on this page to receive notifications of upcoming public meetings.

For questions about zoning compliance and building permits for ADUs, please refer to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Submittal and Informational Packet above, and the Public Counter Notices Page.

Latest News

City Council adopted the ADU Ordinance amendments on November 10, 2020. The Title 30 (Inland) ordinance will be in effect for projects submitted on or after December 10, 2020. To view the adopted ordinance amendments, click here.

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Last Updated: Nov 25, 2020
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