History of Multifamily ADUs

On January 1, 2020 assembly bill AB-68 was approved by the Governor of California allowing multi-family home owners anywhere in California to add Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) to their properties.

But what are ADUs?

ADUs have historically gone by several other names you may recognize such as granny flats, mother-in-law units, backyard homes, carriage house, secondary dwelling unit and as we fondly refer to them, casitas.

In summary AB-68 allows for the following:

• Faster ADU plan review times.
• Prohibits local agencies from imposing strict requirements that exceed state mandates.
• More flexible ADU size and set back requirements.
• Allows ADUs for multi-family units and duplexes.
• Prohibits local agencies charging “Impact Fees” for ADUs under 750 sq. ft.
• Multiple ADUs within existing multifamily structures.
• Two detached ADUs on a multi-family lot.
Note each City and County will begin releasing its ADU rules and regulations in response to the new ADU laws in California and may not match that of the State.

How does this apply to me as a multifamily apartment owner?

If you are a multifamily building owner and your building is an attached duplex or larger by-right you are allowed to add ADUs to your existing property. Multifamily ADUs are typically located in spaces formerly used as parking or storage inside an apartment building or added as new detached structure on the same lot.

What varies according to property is how many ADUs you can add to your property. Per AB-68, a minimum of one accessory dwelling unit within an existing multifamily building is allowed and up to 25% of the unit count (for instance 10 unit building is allowed 2 @ 25% of total unit count) AND/OR a maximum of two accessory units located on a lot that has existing multifamily but are detached from that multifamily building. How can you determine if you can add one, two, three ADUs or more, please contact us.