If Governor Signs These Bills -- Approved By LB's State Senators Umberg & Gonzalez But Not Ass'yman O'Donnell -- All CA Cities Will Have To Permit One "Accessory Dwelling Unit" (ADU) Plus A "Junior" Smaller ADU On Single Family Home Lots In Most Areas, Would Nullify Portions of LB's Land Use/Zoning And Recently Adopted ADU Rules
Includes an "apartment density amplifier" requiring cities to allow ADUs inside an existing multi-unit bldg. up to 25% of its existing units.
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(Sept. 22, 2019, 12:30 p.m.) -- Three bills sent to Governor Gavin Newsom with the "yes" votes LB's two state Senators, Tom Umberg and Lena Gonzalez but not supported by Assemblyman Patrick O'Donnell (two with "no" votes, one with "no vote recorded") would require CA cities to permit at least one Accessory Dwelling Unit ("ADU"), a backyard residence, converted garage residence or "granny flat") plus a second "junior" (smaller) Accessory Dwelling Unit in nearly all areas zoned for single family homes.
From a density standpoint, the bills effectively enable triplex (not merely duplex) ADU residency in single-family home zoned neighborhoods as the property owner may wish.
All three bills also include [our term] an "apartment density amplifier" requiring cities to allow ADUs inside an existing multi-unit bldg. up to 25% of its existing units.
The three bills -- SB 13, AB 68, AB 881 -- are complex but overlap (click links for full bills, salient details summarized below.)
As practical matter, the ADU bills would preempt (nullify) aspects of local control of ADUs in LB's Land Use Element (LUE) (current and being updated) and zoning as well as the LB City Council's Dec. 2017 voted action (after considerable Council debate) that allowed one ADU on some size lots subject to certain other rules.
In Dec. 2017 (in response to a 2016 Sac'to enacted locally preemptive law), LB's City Council adopted an ADU ordinance that allowed ADUs on lots of 5,200 square feet or more; in April 2019, the Council amended the ordinance to allow ADUs on lots of 4,800 sq. feet or more. However, under AB 68 and 881, there are no minimum lot standards for ADUs.
LB's ADU ordinance included elaborate parking requirements; AB68 and AB881 allow converting an existing garage to an ADU without creating replacement parking requirements.
LB's ADU ordinance included elaborate owner-occupancy requirements (to prevent corporate entities [absentee owners] from buying up multiple single family lots and converting them into de facto ADU duplexes); SB13 eliminates owner-occupancy requirements for ADUs for 5 years.
SB 13 includes an amnesty provision enabling owners of an ADU built before Jan. 1, 2020 (and in some cases after Jan. 1, 2020) who receive a notice to correct violations/abate nuisances to request delayed enforcement for 5 years if the enforcement agency doesn't deem the corrections necessary to protect health and safety.
All three bills include verbiage that could impact areas zoned for multi-unit residences [including LB's "crackerbox" impacted areas.] "A local agency shall allow at least one accessory dwelling unit within an existing multifamily dwelling and shall allow up to 25 percent of the existing multifamily dwelling units."
In the Coastal Zone, all three bills include this verbiage: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede or in any way alter or lessen the effect or application of the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000) of the Public Resources Code), except that the local government shall not be required to hold public hearings for coastal development permit applications for accessory dwelling units."
[Scroll down for further.]
For example, AB 68 specifies:
Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) to (d), inclusive, a local agency shall ministerially approve an application for a building permit within a residential or mixed-use zone to create any of the following:
(A) One accessory dwelling unit and one junior accessory dwelling unit per lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling if all of the following apply:
(i) The accessory dwelling unit or junior accessory dwelling unit is within the proposed space of a single-family dwelling or existing space of a single-family dwelling or accessory structure and may include an expansion of not more than 150 square feet beyond the same physical dimensions as the existing accessory structure. An expansion beyond the physical dimensions of the existing accessory structure shall be limited to accommodating ingress and egress.
(ii) The space has exterior access from the proposed or existing single-family dwelling.
(iii) The side and rear setbacks are sufficient for fire and safety.
(iv) The junior accessory dwelling unit complies with the requirements of Section 65852.22.
(B) One detached, new construction, accessory dwelling unit that does not exceed four-foot side and rear yard setbacks for a lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling. The accessory dwelling unit may be combined with a junior accessory dwelling unit described in subparagraph (A). A local agency may impose the following conditions on the accessory dwelling unit:
(i) A total floor area limitation of not more than 800 square feet.
(ii) A height limitation of 16 feet.
(C) (i) Multiple accessory dwelling units within the portions of existing multifamily dwelling structures that are not used as livable space, including, but not limited to, storage rooms, boiler rooms, passageways, attics, basements, or garages, if each unit complies with state building standards for dwellings.
(ii) A local agency shall allow at least one accessory dwelling unit within an existing multifamily dwelling and shall allow up to 25 percent of the existing multifamily dwelling units.
(D) Not more than two accessory dwelling units that are located on a lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling, but are detached from that multifamily dwelling and are subject to a height limit of 16 feet and four-foot rear yard and side setbacks.
(2) A local agency shall not require, as a condition for ministerial approval of a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit, the correction of nonconforming zoning conditions.
(3) The installation of fire sprinklers shall not be required in an accessory dwelling unit if sprinklers are not required for the primary residence...
A number of CA cities and the League of CA Cities opposed the bills (extended list of supporters/opponents below), but the City of Long Beach took no official position on them as they advanced. This was despite verbiage in the City's 2019 State Legislative Agenda" -- policy-setting document approved by the City Council in November 2018 -- which recited that the City would oppose measures reducing local control, including on land use matters.
[Source: City Council voted/approved 2019 State Legislative Agenda]
1. Oppose legislation that preempts the City's existing control over local matters.
a) Support policies and legislation that protect and/or expands the City’s authority and rights over its affairs.
b) Oppose policies and legislation that preempt the current authority possessed by the City and delegates that authority to the State or other governmental jurisdiction
...f) Oppose policies and legislation that diminish the City's local control over land use, planning, zoning and development decisions, and oppose legislation in conflict with the City's adopted General Plan or other Council adopted land use policies.
The Council's 2019 State Legislative Agenda also included policies related to housing (including "support policies, legislation and grants that promote the development and enhancement of affordable and/or accessible housing within the City [cites funding items]" but none of those provisions indicated that they supercede City stated policies on local control.
In November 2018, the Council's State legislation Committee (Austin/chair plus Richardson and now-state Senator Gonzalez) recommended and received Council approval of the local control verbiage as part of the City's 2019 State Legislative Agenda. However the Council's State Legislation Committee then held no Committee meetings in 2019 as multiple bills advanced in Sacramento's 2019 legislative session.
The ADU bills recently came to the attention of Corliss Lee, founder/leader of the grassroots Eastside Voice (5th dist. Council candidate/April 2016.) who wrote in a mass emailing: "It seems that while no one was looking, our State Legislature pulled the rug out from under us with respect to density." Ms. Lee noted: "In general, upzoning should make a property more valuable as a builder can replace one unit with three. They cannot be sold separately however. The downside is usually that density has negative impacts on parking and traffic which are quality of life issues."
Single family home zones and individual vehicle transportation helped drive post WWII development that suburbanized much of southern CA (including large parts of ELB). However in recent years, that development pattern has been targeted [some say demonized] by advocates of increased density who variously argue that exclusively single family home zoning plus parking requirements for new housing have helped make housing unaffordable to many, especially in neighborhoods in or surrounding major cities.
LBREPORT.com lists supporters and opponents of AB 881 below (source: Assembly legislative analysis).
On AB 881:
SUPPORT: (Verified 9/10/19)
California YIMBY (source)
ADU Task Force East Bay
Association of Bay Area Governments
Bay Area Council
Bay Area Housing Advocacy Coalition
Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
Bridge Housing Corporation
Building Industry Association of the Bay Area
California Apartment Association
California Association of Realtors
California Community Builders
California Forward Action Fund
California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
Center on Policy Initiatives
Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
CityLab -- University of California, Los Angeles
Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto
East Bay Housing Organizations
Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles
Habitat for Humanity California
League of Women Voters of California
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
MidPen Housing Corporation
Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California
North Bay Leadership Council
Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Orange County Communities Organized for Responsible Development
Partnership for Working Families
San Francisco Housing Action Coalition
Silicon Valley at Home
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Southern California Rental Housing Association
Terner Center for Housing Innovation
at the University of California, Berkeley
The Casita Coalition
The Two Hundred
Urban Displacement Project, UC Berkeley
Valley Industry and Commerce Association
Warehouse Worker Resource Center
Working Partnerships USA
OPPOSITION: (Verified 9/10/19)
Board of Supervisors for the City and County of San Francisco
Cities of Beverly Hills, Burbank, Camarillo, Chino Hills, Fullerton,
Los Alamitos, Los Altos, Manhattan Beach, Monterey Park, Morgan Hill,
Novato, Pleasanton, Rancho Cucamonga, San Dimas, San Marcos, San Mateo,
Santa Clarita, and Torrance
Cities Association of Santa Clara County
Housing Rights Committee of San Francisco
League of California Cities
Marin County Council of Mayors and Council Members
South Bay Cities Council of Governments
LBREPORT.com will report the Governor's action (to sign or veto) the bills as it occurs.
Updated at 6:06 p.m. to add details on Council April 2019 vote that allowed ADUs on lots of 4,800 sq. ft and above (minimum lot size would be eliminated by the bills.)
Updated to at 2:55 p.m. with additional text on the bills' apartment density amplifier verbiage.
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