ADUs are quite the buzz word lately as LA County has recently impossed rules and regulations making it much easier to build or create a 2nd unit on a property. These ADUs or Accessory Dwelling Units are basically a 2nd dwelling on the property with a full kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, which can be rented, leased or used for family. An ADU can be attached, detached, or even a converted garage. They are part of the property, however, and cannot be sold separately from the primary residence. In addition they must use existing utility connections and meters. While there cannot be more than one address on the parcel, ADUs may have a unit number or letter to differentiate the mailing address. Current regulations prohibit local agencies from imposing an owner-occupant requirement until January 1, 2025. Whether you love the idea or hate the idea really comes down to your situation and neighborhood.
- ADUs can provide an additional source of income for homeowners.
- ADUs are generally inexpensive to create as they do not require paying for land.
- ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy and not sharing the same space.
- ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to live in their own space or younger family members to move in….without moving in to the same space.
- ADUs may create parking problems in areas with limited parking….and generally speaking parking is always a challenge in the South Bay
- ADU’s may create overcrowding, and dramatically change the look and feel of neighborhoods.
- ADU’s will likely more road congestion as roads originally designed for a limited number of people may not be able to accomodate an influx of new residents.
- ADU’s could potentially lower property values and end the single-family “neighborhood” feel. Low density residential areas may loose that charm.
ADU Size Requirements & Restrictions
- Minimum 150 Sq. Ft.
- Maximum 1,200 Sq. Ft.
- 50% of the Living Area of the Primary Residence, but in no case shall result in an increase in floor area of more than allowed maximum.
- Front : 20 Feet
- Rear : 4 Feet
- Side : 4 Feet
- Front : 20 Feet
- Rear : 4 Feet
- Side : 4 Feet
- Street Side : 10 Feet
Attached to or located above a permitted existing garage, setbacks from the side and rear lot lines shall be no more than 5 feet
If lot is less than 50 feet wide, side setback to be no less than 10% of lot width or 3 feet minimum.
Distance between any detached accessory dwelling unit and the main dwelling shall not be less than 10 feet.
ADUs are not permitted if :
- Is not zoned to allow a SFR by-right
- Hillside areas, except when located within a half mile of public transit and adjoining a standard street
- Between the front of the primary residence and the street
- Has an existing ADU or Accessory Living Area, except pool house accessory to swimming pool.
Minimum Lot Size :
- There is no minimum lot size as long as a legal SFR exists on site.
- Must meet minimum lot size sf based on zoning
- Ideal lot size is 5,000 sf and above
Maximum Lot Coverage:
- 50% Maximum
Floor Area Ratio (FAR):
- 45% Maximum
- None (LAC)
- Note: FAR does not apply to Multi-family Zone Properties (R-2, R-3, R-4)
Minimum Area Requirements:
- Living/bedroom area: 70 Sq. Ft.
- Bathroom: 30 Sq. Ft.(Must include toilet, lavatory and bathtub or shower)
- Kitchen/closets/hallways: 50 Sq. Ft. (Kitchen area with sink, stove, and
Parking (within LA County):
- One parking spot per ADU is required and may be provided as tandem parking on a lawfully existing driveway including that
portion of a lawfully existing driveway within required setback areas.
- A garage or carport is demolished or rendered unusable in conjunction with the construction of the ADU, any parking spaces
required for the ADU or primary residence may be provided as covered, uncovered, tandem spaces on an existing driveway, or by
the use of mechanical parking lifts
- Parking for existing dwelling shall be provided
When ADU Parking Is Not Required :
- The accessory dwelling unit is located within 1/2 mile of public transit (i.e. bus stop, bike share station, train station).
- The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
- The accessory dwelling unit is part of the existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure.
- When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.
*Every city can modify minor aspects and regulations/requirements. We strongly encourage and recommend contacting your city for specific requirements. Details provided above are for general informational purposes only and we cannot guarantee it’s accuracy. Information may not be updated to current rules and statutes.