Architectural & Design Studio

Frequently Asked Questions About ADU Legislative Intent and Local Regulations

12/27/20232 min read


Should a local ordinance encourage the development of ADUs?

  • Yes, it is highly advisable that local ordinances actively promote the development of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). These units are an effective solution for addressing housing shortages, providing affordable housing options, and supporting sustainable development.

  1. What standards can be established for ADUs in zoning and development?

    • Size Requirements: Local ordinances have the flexibility to set both minimum and maximum sizes for ADUs, aiming to balance habitability while avoiding excessive development.

    • Parking: Certain ADUs may be exempt from parking requirements, and limits based on the number of units or bedrooms can be set to encourage alternative transportation.

    • Setbacks and Distance: Local ordinances can require setbacks to ensure privacy and adequate spacing between structures, preventing overcrowding.

    • Height and Number of Stories: Imposing limits on height and stories preserves the neighborhood's aesthetics and scale, ensuring harmonious integration.

  2. How does the ordinance impact cities in Los Angeles County and Orange County?

    • Regulations vary in cities like Los Angeles, Long Beach, Glendale (Los Angeles County), and Anaheim, Irvine (Orange County). Each jurisdiction has the authority to establish specific regulations, so it's crucial to review local ordinances.

  3. Are there additional restrictions for smaller ADUs regarding impact fees and other charges?

    • Some ordinances allow for the exemption or reduction of impact fees for smaller ADUs, incentivizing their development and contributing to housing solutions.

  4. What regulations must local agencies follow regarding Government Code Section 65852.2?

    • Local agencies are obligated to comply with Government Code Section 65852.2, ensuring adherence to regulations related to ADUs, including rental restrictions and approval processes.

  5. How do these regulations apply to specific cities like Anaheim, Irvine, and Los Angeles?

    • Cities such as Anaheim, Irvine, and Los Angeles have specific regulations for ADUs. It's essential to review local ordinances and obtain approval before initiating projects in these areas.

  6. Can impact fees be charged for ADUs less than 750 square feet?

    • Depending on the local ordinance, some permit the exemption or reduction of impact fees for smaller ADUs, facilitating their development.

  7. Can local agencies waive impact fees?

    • Yes, some ordinances allow local agencies to waive impact fees, encouraging ADU development and affordability.

  8. Can schools charge impact fees for ADUs?

    • Schools may be authorized to charge impact fees according to local regulations, contributing to educational funds.

  9. Do water and sewer connection fees still apply despite waived impact fees?

    • Yes, even with waived impact fees, water and sewer connection fees may still apply depending on local regulations. It's essential to review specific regulations for each area.

In Summary: ADUs are a crucial solution to housing shortages, and local ordinances play a vital role in setting standards for their development. Understanding and complying with local regulations are essential for the success of ADU projects.




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