County updates ADU ordinance


El Dorado County Zoning Ordinance will receive an update regarding accessory housing units to comply with changes in state law aimed at boosting housing supply in California.

An ADU is a smaller, independent residential housing unit located on the same land as a single-family home. They can be attached, detached or contained in an existing building and are permitted either as new construction or as a conversion of existing permitted spaces such as a garage, workshop, barn or pool house, among others. . ADUs are more commonly referred to as grandma’s apartments, multigenerational units, master suites, or back cabins.

Housing, Community and Economic Development Analyst CJ Freeland reported on California’s new ADU rules to the Board of Supervisors on Nov. 16, which prohibit local agencies from imposing strict requirements beyond terms of office. state and prohibit local agencies from charging impact fees for 750-square-foot ADUs. or smaller.

Revisions to the county ADU ordinance include an update to Meyers’ area plan to allow ADUs in multi-family and mixed-use residential areas, revisions to the maximum square footage for new construction detached ADUs by plot size, revisions to parking requirements and owner occupancy requirements and the addition of junior ADUs.

A junior ADU measures no more than 500 square feet in an existing or proposed single-family home, including attached garages. For JADUs, a kitchen with appliances, owner occupancy, and deed restriction provisions are required. Only one JADU is allowed per batch.

Owner occupancy is not required until January 2025 for regular ADUs.

In the Lake Tahoe Basin, development permits will be issued by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

District 5 supervisor Sue Novasel, who acts as a liaison with the county’s Tahoe regional planning agency, admitted that development rights through the agency are difficult and expensive to acquire.

“It has always been an effort on the part of planning agencies to restrict development in Tahoe,” Novasel said. “We have very restrictive processes to follow, processes that you wouldn’t want to follow on the West Slope. “

Freeland said the agency was receptive to county requests to ease restrictions on ADUs due to state regulations and the labor shortage.

The withdrawals of the detached 4-foot ADU were a major concern for District 4 supervisor Lori Parlin, who was concerned about house-to-house ignitions.

“We watched the campfire in Heaven and the house-to-house lightings,” Parlin said. “We want the distance… this is very worrying. People cannot get insurance and we are in a high fire severity zone. “

“I have a hard time getting too restrictive because you get to a point where if you have enough perspective it’s not buildable,” Novasel said.

Freeman explained that the 4-foot setback is geared towards urban areas, but arrangements can be made for more relaxed setbacks through the county agricultural commission. Parlin said she wanted to make the provisions of the ordinance clearer to avoid confusion.

Currently, Board of Forestry regulations allow a 30 foot setback for ADUs in high fire risk areas.

During public comments, El Dorado County Real Estate Association’s government affairs director, Kimberly Beal, suggested the county hold a workshop with the association on ADU regulations that are not currently in the list. county ordinance or have an FAQ page on the county website.

Beal also recommended increasing the size potential of the ADU for plots of 4 1/2 acres or more.

“We are seeing demand for two homes on a plot where the buyers are siblings or just friends,” Beal said. “It is no longer the traditional parents and the child who return from one house to another.”

The board approved the update to ADU Order 4-1, with Parlin as the rebellious vote.

The new state law also prohibits:

  • Minimum lot size requirements
  • Allow more than 60 days to approve an ADU plan or JADU plan permit application if there is an existing single-family or multi-family dwelling on the lot
  • A maximum ADU size that does not allow an ADU of at least 800 square feet and 16 feet in height
  • HOA prohibiting or unreasonably restricting the construction of ADUs on single-family residential lots
  • Requirements for owner occupancy of primary accommodation or ADU