California passed law in 2017 and then updated in 2018 improving the addition of ADU (granny flats). This was driven by local building codes impairing effectiveness and a statewide housing shortage affecting many metropolitan areas. Homeowners can create these additions for family members, or create income to offset mortgage payments or more.
Renovation loans allows addition of income properties. This can be the most cost-effective financing available. There are limitations to the type ADU additions. The ADU must attach or through conversion of utilize existing structure. This could be a garage conversion.
The following is a general guide. You must get specific detail with the local building department and hire an architect as the initial process.
Types of ADU
New, Attached - Allows new addition up to 50% of square footage of existing dwelling, not greater than 1,200 sf.
New, Detached - Allows new addition up to 50% of square footage of existing dwelling, not greater than 1,200 sf.
Conversion, Unconditioned - Typically a garage conversion.
Conversion, Conditioned - Converting living area. Must have separate outside access and setback that complies with fire safety code.
New ADU Featured Changes
Parking - Parking requirements has been of the biggest obstacle in implementing ADUs. The new provision allow more flexibility with location and setbacks restrictions. Allowance for tandem parking and eased setback restriction. The biggest difference is the elimination of off-street parking if the dwelling is within 1/2 mile of public transportation.
Utilities - Not required to have new connections for utilities including electrical, gas, water & sewer. This results in significant savings.
Permit & Connection Fees - Past connection fees reflect costs as a new residential construction. Fees must now be proportional. Another significant price reduction.
Fire Sprinkler - Not required if not existing in current dwelling.
Local Adoption - Although state mandates are mandatory, some local building departments have yet change their local code to reflect these requirements. There may be additional restriction or requirements. Check with your local department.
Owner Occupancy - There may be requirements of owner-occupancy in primary or ADU. This will impact future sale of dwelling.
Short Term Rentals - Some local jurisdiction will have restriction of conditions for short term rental.
It is imperative to check with your local building department for a complete understanding of ADUs.
The past local restrictions impaired many ADU projects. The new allowances will go a long way to make ADUs viable. The cost savings are significant in the tens of thousands of dollars. This is a great time to evaluate an ADU addition.
Local News on ADUs
SD HIGH EXPENSE 10 NEWS
Channel 10 recently reported high connection fees may still be inhibiting the viability of implementing ADUs. San Diego is clearly not keeping track with other Calif. metropolitan Cities. City Council is slow walking rolling back fee reductions.
San Diego responds with high permit/connection fees for ADUS
Chula Vista NBC NEWS
CV council members are making efforts to align state ADU mandate. This includes aggressive fee reductions. Also considering home occupancy requirement.