Accessory Dwelling Unit Project Guidance
Note: The Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinances have been updated. For more information, click here.
In 2017 and 2019, the State legislature amended Government Code §65852.2 and added Government Code §65852.22 to ease development standards and facilitate the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs).
On November 10, 2020, City Council adopted amendments to the Inland Zoning Ordinance Title 30 subsection §30.185.040 Accessory Dwelling Units, effective on December 10, 2020. Council also adopted amendments to the Coastal Zoning Ordinance Title 28 new Chapter 28.86. On April 6, 2022 the California Coastal Commission determined that the City’s ADU Ordinance is legally adequate and effective in the Coastal Zone.
The requirement that the property owner reside in either the primary residential unit or the ADU in the Residential Single Unit zone changed in 2020. This requirement is contained in the recorded agreement (covenant). Owner-occupancy is not required on any new ADU covenants for a period of 5 years (from January 2020 to January 2025). However, if you are proposing a Junior ADU, the property owner must still reside in either the primary residential unit or the JADU.
If you have an owner occupancy requirement on a covenant recorded prior to January 1, 2020, you may request the existing owner-occupancy provision to be removed. Due to limited staff resources, it could take several months to complete the process. To change your covenant:
For questions about adoption of the City’s ordinance in compliance with updates to state law, email staff at ADU@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.
For questions about zoning compliance and building permits for ADUs, please refer to the Accessory Dwelling Unit Submittal and Informational Packet above, and the Construction & Land Development page.
735 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Tel. (805) 963-0611
City of Santa Barbara, PO Box 1990
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-1990
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