New California Accessory Dwelling Unit Laws Take Effect Today

New state legislation will kick in at the start of the new year easing restrictions on ADUs.

January 1, 2020, 1:00 PM PST

By Camille Fink

Accessory Dwelling Unit

Nicolás Boullosa / Flickr

"Cities like La Cañada Flintridge will be forced in 2020 to throw open the doors for the construction and proliferation of accessory dwelling units, when several new state measures overriding municipal limitations on the structures take effect Jan. 1," writes Sara Cardine.

The new law allows ADUs up to 800 square feet as well as an additional junior ADU attached to the primary residence on a property. Side and rear setbacks for ADU buildings will also be reduced to 4 feet, and applications will not require commission reviews.

La Cañada was considering an urgency ordinance to replace the city’s existing ADU regulations with a revised ordinance that allows property owners to designate separate addresses and utility accounts.

However, the vote was postponed and state regulations will take effect at the start of the new year until the city council puts a regular ordinance in place. "Even then, the laws will mostly mirror state regulations, as cities can make only minor additional amendments regarding hillside development standards under the new state law," notes Cardine.

Friday, December 13, 2019 in La Cañada Valley Sun

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

44 minutes ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

1 hour ago - Strong Towns

Rendering of elevated rail ine

Miami Rapid Transit Project Moves Forward

The county completed the draft environmental impact study for a monorail and people mover planned as part of its rapid transit system.

2 hours ago - The Next Miami

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.