Backyard homes policy update

Last year, California passed laws making it much easier for homes to add secondary units on the property: SB 1069AB 2299, and AB 2406.  These units are termed “Accessory Dwelling Units” (ADUs), or nicknamed granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages.  The laws change requirements for parking, setbacks, fees, and permits, reducing some of the barriers that previously made it difficult to build ADUs.  Generally, the unit will still need its own off-street parking space, unless it’s near transit, car sharing, or meets other criteria.

The California Department of Housing and Community Development has a page with some good info about the state laws, and links to more resources.  Here is an ADU guidebook  for Los Angeles by CityLab.

The city of Los Angeles is developing language for a new ordinance to expand on the state law.   It has not yet been issued to the public, so it is a good time to tell your council person your opinions or ask them to release the draft for public comment.

The Tiny Advocacy Network is interested in making sure tiny homes (generally less than 400 square feet) and movable tiny homes (structures on a trailer or wheels) stay in the language of this ordinance.  You can sign up for their newsletters and check out info on their advocacy page.