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Accessory Dwelling Unit Basics for Los Angeles Area


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The laws around Accessory Dwelling Units in California have recently changed. The architecture and design experts from AMK Studios have broken down what you need to know when considering putting an ADU on your property.

Published in: Real Estate
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Accessory Dwelling Unit Basics for Los Angeles Area

  1. 1. ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS State of California Glendale La Canada Flintridge La Crescenta (Unincorporated LA County) City of Los Angeles © 2018 amk STUDIO
  2. 2. What is an ADU? •An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a residential unit that can be added to a lot with an existing single family home. •ADUs can be detached (a separate building in a backyard), attached to or part of the primary residence, or a garage conversion. •ADUs are independent rental units that have their own kitchens, bathrooms, living areas, and entrances. •ADU housing units go by many names: backyard homes, secondary units, garage apartments. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  3. 3. Why Build an ADU? •ADUs can provide additional space for: •Caregivers •Grown children •Elderly parents •Renters •Because ADUs are rental units, they produce additional household income. •“Empty nesters” can stay in their neighborhoods by moving into a smaller ADU and renting their larger existing home to pay the mortgage. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  4. 4. What is the State Law for ADUs? •In January of 2017, a new California state law (AB 2299) took effect that encourages homeowners to build ADUs. •Local governments must ministerially approve one ADU per single family lot if the unit is: •contained within an existing residence or accessory structure. •has independent exterior access from the existing residence. •has side and rear setbacks that are sufficient for fire safety (garage conversions are “grandfathered”). •Prohibits a local government from adopting an ordinance that precludes ADUs. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  5. 5. Parking Requirements •One space per bedroom or unit. •Off street parking may be tandem or in setback areas. •No parking requirements if the ADU meets any of the following: •Is within a half mile from public transit. •Is within an architecturally and historically significant historic district. •Is part of an existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure. •Is in an area where on-street parking permits are required, but not offered to the occupant of the ADU. •Is located within one block of a car share area. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  6. 6. ADU Size and Setbacks • Attached ADUs are limited to a maximum of 50% of the existing living area, with a maximum increase in floor area of 1,200 square feet (excluding garage). • Detached ADUs are limited to a maximum of 1,200 square feet (excluding garage). • For ADUs that require an addition or a new accessory detached structure, more restrictive maximum ADU size can be established by local jurisdictions with certain limitations. • Underlying FAR and lot coverage restrictions may restrict maximum ADU size allowed. • No passageway can be required. • No additional setback can be required from an existing garage that is converted to an ADU. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  7. 7. Fees •ADUs shall not be considered new residential uses for the purpose of calculating utility connection fees or capacity charges, including water and sewer service. •State law prohibits a local agency from requiring an ADU applicant to install a new or separate utility connection or impose a related connection fee or capacity charge forADUs that are contained within an existing residence or accessory structure. •For attached and detached ADUs, this fee or charge must be proportionate to the burden of the unit on the water or sewer system and may not exceed the reasonable cost of providing the service. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  8. 8. Glendale •Interim ordinance expires 2-8-18 •500 sf max ADU size •Homeowner covenant required •The property owner shall pay all sewer, water, school district, and other applicable fees, including development impact fees (reduced from $21K to $4.7K). •The property owner shall install a new or separate utility connection between the ADU and the utility, and pay all applicable connection fees or capacity charges, except if the ADU is within existing residence/accessory space. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  9. 9. La Canada Flintridge • Not allowed on lots under 10,000 sf • Homeowner covenant required • The accessory dwelling unit must be connected with the primary dwelling unit to common utility meters, including gas, electricity and water© 2018 amk STUDIO
  10. 10. La Canada Flintridge © 2018 amk STUDIO
  11. 11. La Crescenta (Unincorporated LA County) •Revisions to ordinance to be considered on 1-24-18 •1200 sf max ADU size •No parking required forADU •No homeowner covenant proposed •No development impact fees © 2018 amk STUDIO
  12. 12. City of Los Angeles •1200 sf max ADU size •No homeowner covenant required •Excellent handbook “Building an ADU Guidebook to Accessory Dwelling Units in the city of Los Angeles” available online in partnership with UCLA. •Guidebook does not replace services of professional designers, but it does provide helpful advice, websites, phone numbers, and office locations. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  13. 13. ADU Design Process 1. Take photos of your property 2. Make a sketch of existing home and proposed ADU design concept. 3. Take your photos and sketch and meet with Building Department to confirm that your proposedADU meets local requirements. 4. Secure financing based on estimated project costs including design, permitting fees, and construction. 5. Hire design team to finalize design concept and draw floorplans, elevations, and related construction documents. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  14. 14. ADU Permitting Process 1. Submit construction drawings to Building Department for plan check review (may require revisions to construction drawings). 2. Pay building permit fees, utility interconnection charges, and applicable development impact fees. 3. Building permit issued. © 2018 amk STUDIO
  15. 15. ADU Construction Process 1. Obtain bids from at least three contractors. 2. Select contractor. 3. Begin construction. 4. Construction inspection by building field inspector (may require revisions to approved construction drawings). 5. Certificate of Occupancy. 6. Host Housewarming Party! © 2018 amk STUDIO
  16. 16. DISCUSSION © 2018 amk STUDIO
  17. 17. DETACHED (corner lot) © 2018 amk STUDIO
  18. 18. DETACHED (corner lot) © 2018 amk STUDIO
  19. 19. DETACHED (front unit) © 2018 amk STUDIO
  20. 20. DETACHED… (front unit)© 2018 amk STUDIO
  21. 21. DETACHED- (over garage) © 2018 amk STUDIO
  22. 22. DETACHED- (over garage) © 2018 amk STUDIO
  24. 24. THANKYOU! For More Info: Javier Mariscal, AICP, LEED GA at AMK Studio Architecture (818) 429-4066 call/text Arlene Edjourian, AIA, NCARB, LeedAP at AMK Studio Architecture & GMD Design Group of CA, Inc (949) 863-3000 © 2018 amk STUDIO