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New 2020 ADU Laws are Homeowner Friendly for Los Angeles Residents.

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

These provisions allowed existing single-family and multi-family property owners in Los Angeles to construct Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) with less red tape. Here are the basic changes that favor you.

1. Statewide ADU guidelines legislation.

Before the new legislation were signed some cities made it difficult and very expensive to build an ADU. That has Changed starting January 1st 2020. If Cities and Counties don’t comply with new ADU regulations, state law will be applied.

2. Add an additional ADU to your property.

A single-family zoning commonly known as R1 in planning jargon now is allows two ADU’s one regular full sized Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and One Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU). The Junior ADU max size built is 500 square feet. JADU must be within a proposed or existing single-family dw

3. Setbacks on your property have been reduced

The maximum setback for an ADU would be 4 feet side and rear yards. Cities and Counties can no long enforce large setbacks on ADUs.

4. City approval time frame reduced

Local agency must approve or deny a ADU or JADU permit application within 60 days from the date the agency received a completed application. Prior guidelines were 120 days.

5. Additional Parking Exceptions

Remove parking replacement requirements when an ADU results in the demolition or conversion of existing parking. Four types of ADUs that do not require additional parking which are detached garage conversion, Attached garage conversion, Interior Conversion JADU and detached new ADU.

6. Local governments, impact fees

Eliminates impact fees for ADUs under 750 square feet and requires fees to be proportional to the square footage of the primary residence. Furthermore, any ADU 750 square feet or larger in size must be charged proportionately in relation to the square footage of the main dwelling unit.

7. Owner Occupancy Requirements.

SB-13 Bill prohibits owner- occupancy requirement until 2025. A five-year freeze on owner occupancy which will let you lease both your main dwelling and ADU without living on the property.

9. How Does HOA affect ADU’s

Great news legislation prevents homeowners’ associations from barring ADU construction on single-family properties or imposing reasonable restrictions.

8. What about Multifamily Property Owners

Property owner can now convert portions of existing multifamily dwelling structures that are not used as livable space. That includes storage rooms, mechanical rooms, corridors, attics space, basements, and garages, if each unit complies with building and safety guidelines. Furthermore, two ADU’s are allowed if located on the same lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling, and must be detached from that multifamily dwelling which are subject to a height limit of 16 feet and 4ft rear and side yard setbacks.

9. Unpermitted Garage Conversion

We all know someone that has an old unpermitted converted garage from the old days of stricter regulations. Good news as a property owner you now have the ability to bring your unpermitted garage conversion up to ADU code within 5 years of violation.

10. Solar Panel and Title 24 Energy Requirements

Title 24 as of January 2020 has a say in ADU’s. A newly built, non-manufactured, detached ADUs will generally need to install solar panels if local agency is enforcing energy requirements set by California’s State code. On the other hand If you’re converting an existing part of your home, or adding an attached ADU to an existing part of the home or accessory structure, you may not need to install solar panels and just have it solar ready for future installation.

Schedule a free ADU Virtual Consultation Have a virtual walk through of your property no need for onsite visit to start. All you’ll need is a tape measure and note pad and our expert General Contractor will go through your options. Click blow to proceed.

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