Accessory Dwelling Units Legalized, Finally, in San Francisco

Legislation approved this week finally brings the city of San Francisco up to date with state laws approved in 2016.

2 minute read

June 19, 2019, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

San Francisco

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"The [San Francisco] Board of Supervisors gave final approval June 18 to legislation that could gradually increase housing density citywide, especially in western neighborhoods, with many of the new units being rent controlled," reports Noah Arroyo.

Arroyo elaborates on the specifics of the legislation approve this week:

The legislation, sponsored by Supervisor Ahsha Safai, will allow an accessory dwelling unit — often called an ADU or in-law unit — to be built as part of a new single-family home. Previously, the additional units could be added only after the main dwelling was built. It could also expedite the approval process for units that satisfy all local design requirements by removing the public’s ability to appeal them. The changes make San Francisco’s ADU program conform with state regulations.

The article includes more details of the conversation at the hearing that produced the vote. Also noted, is the legislation's effect in rendering moot a lawsuit brought by the California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund, led by prominent member of the YIMBY movement and former candidate for supervisor in San Francisco, Sonja Trauss.

"The pro-building group sued San Francisco in December because its Accessory Dwelling Unit program failed to follow the state’s requirements that builders be able to incorporate extra units into new construction, and that the units satisfying all local zoning laws be exempt from 'discretionary review' — a process in which members of the public can ask city staff to consider whether a project should proceed," explains Arroyo.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 in San Francisco Public Press

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