Chapter 15.14
SUPPLEMENTAL RESIDENTIAL REGULATIONS1

Sections:

15.14.010    Purpose and intent.

15.14.020    Summary of regulations.

15.14.030    Fences and walls.

15.14.040    Encroachments into setbacks.

15.14.050    Patio covers and yard structures.

15.14.060    Storage sheds and yard buildings.

15.14.070    Swimming pools and water features.

15.14.080    Accessory dwelling units.

15.14.090    Guest houses.

15.14.100    Mobilehomes and manufactured housing.

15.14.110    Landscaping and open area.

15.14.120    Screening of equipment and facilities.

15.14.130    Outdoor lighting in residential areas.

15.14.140    Special outdoor events in residential areas.

15.14.150    Home occupations.

15.14.160    Child day care homes.

15.14.165    Short-term rental uses prohibited.

15.14.170    Construction and guard offices.

15.14.180    Model home complexes.

15.14.190    Residential trash enclosures.

15.14.200    Gate-guarded entries.

15.14.210    Two-unit projects.

15.14.010 Purpose and intent.

The purpose and intent of this chapter is to set out regulations for accessory structures, fences, swimming pools, and other elements of land use in residential districts and the residential portions of specific plan districts. These requirements are in addition to the regulations for residential uses set out in Chapter 15.10 AVMC. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.020 Summary of regulations.

A. Summary Table. The following table is a summary of supplemental residential regulations in this chapter. In case of conflicts between this table and the applicable section text, the text shall control.

TABLE 15.14.020:

NUMERICAL SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS FOR RESIDENTIAL USES 

Type

Standard

Maximum Fence Height:

Single-family: In side or rear yards

6 ft.

Single-family: In front yards

42 in.

Multifamily: In setback areas not adjacent to streets, alleys or driveways

6 ft.*

Multifamily: In setback areas adjacent to streets, alleys or driveways

6 ft.*, except that the maximum height shall be 42 in. within the first 10 ft. of the setback area, measured from the ultimate street R.O.W.

In corner cutoff areas, for sight distance

30 in.

Entry gates for residential neighborhoods

8 ft. for vehicular gates and 6 ft. for pedestrian gates, exclusive of decorative elements on top of gates such as scrolls and finials.

Temporary fencing for construction sites

10 ft.

 

*But up to 8 ft. measured on lower side where there is a grade differential

Maximum Encroachments into Setbacks:

 

The following encroachments are allowed provided a minimum distance of 3 ft. from all property lines is maintained:

Awnings

4 ft. into front and rear setbacks; 3 ft. into side setbacks.

Balconies

5 ft. into front and rear setbacks; 3 ft. into side setbacks.

Bay windows

30 in. into any setback.

Chimneys up to 7 ft. in width

2 ft. into any setback.

Architectural projections, e.g., eaves

3 ft. into any setback.

Open porches

3 ft. into any front or rear setback. Porches shall not encroach into side yard setbacks.

Air conditioning ventilation and similar equipment

May be placed in rear and side yard setbacks. Not permitted in front yard setbacks.

Multifamily perimeter setbacks

All of the preceding front and rear setback encroachments are also permitted into perimeter setbacks in multifamily projects.

Patio Covers and Other Yard Structures:

Yard structures under 6 ft. high

May be up to side or rear property line, subject to building or fire code limitations. At least 3 ft. from property line in front yard; and not permitted in panhandle portion of panhandle lot.

Yard structures 6 – 12 ft. high

At least 3 ft. from side or rear property line. Not permitted in front yard setback.

Yard structures on common lots

Under 6 ft. high: may be placed up to any property line, subject to building or fire code limitations; 6 – 12 ft. high: at least 3 ft. from any property line.

Storage Sheds and Other Yard Buildings:

Yard buildings under 6 ft. high

May be up to side or rear property line subject to building or fire code limitations. No closer to front property line than front wall of main building.

Yard buildings 6 – 8 ft. high

At least 3 ft. from side or rear property line. No closer to front property line than front wall of main building.

Yard buildings on common lots

Under 6 ft. high: may be placed up to any property line subject to building or fire code limitations; 6 ft. – 8 ft. high: at least 3 ft. from any property line.

Number and size allowed per lot

No more than 2 buildings per lot and no more than 200 sq/ft ground area per building.

Swimming Pools and Water Features:

Pool location

At least 3 ft. from edge of water to side or rear property line. No pools in front yard setback. Community pools adjacent to common area may be located up to the property line.

Pool filter or heating equipment

At least 3 ft. from equipment to side or rear property line, unless equipment is placed within an enclosure which provides effective noise attenuation to less than 45 dBA at the property line. Equipment shall be screened from ground view.

Water features such as fountains, waterfalls, slides and similar

Maximum 8 ft. high for single-family residences. For common areas and community entry features, maximum 12 ft. high.

Guest Houses:

Maximum floor area of guest house

800 sq/ft, with no cooking facilities.

[Ord. 2017-192 § 3; Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.030 Fences and walls.

A. Use of Terms. In this section, the terms “fence” and “wall” are used interchangeably to mean any type of fence, freestanding wall, retaining wall, screen, or windscreen.

B. Measurement of Fence Height. Except as otherwise specified in this section, fence heights shall be measured from finish grade at the base of the fence to the highest point of the fence on the interior or exterior side, whichever is higher. In addition, the following provisions shall apply to the measurement of fence height:

Measurement of Fence Height

1. Differential Elevations. Where the elevation of an adjoining building site is higher than the base of the fence within a side or rear setback area, the height of the fence may be measured from the elevation of the adjoining building site to the top of the fence. However, fence height shall not exceed eight feet measured from the lower side.

2. Adjacent Fences. Fences less than 30 inches apart (measured between adjoining faces) shall be considered one structure and fence height shall be measured from the base of the lower fence to the top of the higher fence. Fences 30 inches or more apart shall be considered separate structures and their heights shall be measured independently.

C. Gates and Arches. The height of gates shall conform to the applicable maximum fence height where the gate is located except that decorative elements on gates such as scrolls, finials, and similar features may extend up to one foot above the maximum fence height. In addition, arches or trellises up to eight feet in height and five feet in width may be constructed over a gate if integrated into the fence/gate design, and pilasters may be constructed up to eight feet in height on each side of a gate if integrated into the fence/gate design. For single-family residences, a maximum of two such arches or pairs of pilasters shall be permitted per parcel.

D. Fence Heights for Single-Family Lots. For single-family detached and single-family attached lots, the construction and installation of fences shall conform to the following height limitations:

Maximum Fence Heights for Single-Family Lots

1. Fences Within Side and Rear Setbacks. The maximum fence height shall be six feet within any required side or rear setback area.

2. Fences Within Front Setbacks.

a. Within a front setback area, maximum fence height shall be 42 inches, except as limited by subsection (F) of this section (Required Sight Distances).

b. Where, because of the orientation of the lots, a property line fence separates a front yard on one lot from a rear yard on an adjacent lot (i.e., a “key lot” situation), the maximum fence height shall be six feet.

E. Fence Heights for Multifamily Developments. For multiple-family developments, the maximum fence height shall be 42 inches within 10 feet of any street or alley right-of-way line. In all other locations, the maximum fence height shall be six feet.

F. Required Sight Distances. In regulating fences and other visual obstructions, it is necessary to preserve motorist sight distances at street intersections, alleys and driveways. Therefore, notwithstanding subsections (C), (D) and (E) of this section, the height of fences, trees, shrubs, and other visual obstructions shall be limited to a maximum height of 30 inches within the triangular area shown in the exhibit.

Fence Height and Required Sight Distances

G. Sound Walls. City- or state-required sound attenuation walls bordering freeways, tollways or arterial highways may exceed six feet in height if so recommended by a noise attenuation study and approved by the director.

H. Retaining Walls.

1. Retaining walls up to six feet in height are permitted, provided the wall is landscaped with shrubs or vines with automatic irrigation if it is over 30 inches high and visible from off-site locations.

2. Open railings up to 48 inches high placed on top of a retaining or other wall and required for pedestrian safety may be permitted if an increase in height is approved per subsection (J) of this section.

I. Residential Entry Gates. Per AVMC 15.14.200, vehicle entry gates to residential projects shall not exceed eight feet in height and pedestrian entry gates shall not exceed six feet in height. Gates shall be of open design.

J. Increases in Height. Fences higher than the maximums set out in this section, up to a maximum of 10 feet, may be permitted if an exception permit is approved by the director pursuant to AVMC 15.74.070. Applications for fences exceeding 10 feet in height shall be reviewed by the city council as a site development permit, pursuant to AVMC 15.74.020, and shall require a public hearing. In addition to the findings required for approval of all exceptions, the following findings shall also be made in conjunction with approval of a fence height increase:

1. The height and location of the fence as proposed will not result in or create a traffic hazard; and

2. The location, size, design and other characteristics of the fence will not result in a material adverse effect on adjacent residents or their properties, including but not limited to any views available to such residents prior to construction of the proposed fence.

Any application for a fence height increase may be referred by the director to the city council for action if the director determines on a case-by-case basis that the public interest would be better served by such referral.

K. Wall/Fence Articulation. Long straight stretches of wall or fence shall be varied by the use of such design features as offsets (i.e., jogs), open panels (e.g., containing wrought iron) at selected locations, periodic variations in materials, texture, or colors, the inclusion of landscape plantings, and similar measures.

L. Prohibited Fencing. The use of barbed wire, razor wire or electrified fencing materials is prohibited except where required by city, state or federal regulation. The use of chain link fencing is prohibited in residential districts within any front yard area or any area visible from a public street, except for construction sites, wireless facilities, special events and other temporary uses and where otherwise specifically permitted in this code. [Ord. 2012-141 § 16; Ord. 2012-140 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.040 Encroachments into setbacks.

A. Permitted Encroachments. Encroachments into required setbacks are permitted as follows in residential districts, provided a minimum distance of three feet from all property lines is maintained:

1. Awnings may encroach up to four feet into front and rear yard setbacks and up to three feet into side yard setbacks.

2. Balconies may encroach up to five feet into front and rear yard setbacks and up to three feet into side yard setbacks.

3. Bay windows may encroach up to 30 inches into any yard setback.

4. Chimneys up to seven feet in width may encroach up to two feet into any yard setback.

5. Architectural projections, such as cornices, eaves, and similar elements, may encroach up to three feet into any yard setback.

6. Open porches may encroach up to three feet into any front or rear yard setback. Porches shall not encroach into side yard setbacks.

7. Air conditioning, ventilation and similar equipment may be placed in rear and side yard setbacks. Such equipment is not permitted in front yard setbacks. Existing equipment less than three feet from a property line may be replaced by equipment at the same setback, provided there is no decrease in setback.

8. All of the preceding setback encroachments are also permitted into perimeter setbacks in multifamily projects. [Ord. 2012-140 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.050 Patio covers and yard structures.

A. Applicability. Yard structures are permitted as accessory structures on common residential lots or on residential lots containing a primary residence, subject to the requirements of this section. For purposes of this code, the term “yard structure” means any type of unenclosed structure over 18 inches in height and placed within required yard setbacks, including but not limited to patio covers (attached or detached), gazebos, trellises, freestanding fireplaces, fire pits, barbecues, fountains, play equipment (other than enclosed playhouses), and cantilevered decks.

B. Standards. Yard structures shall conform to the following requirements. Setbacks shall be measured from the edge of the structure, not from supporting members. Height shall be measured at the highest point of the structure.

1. Side and Rear Yards. Yard structures under six feet in height may be located up to a side or rear property line subject to building code and fire code limitations. Yard structures six feet in height or over shall be located at least three feet from any property line and shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Yard structures not within a setback may be constructed up to the district’s maximum structure height set out in AVMC 15.10.030(A), Table 15.10.030.

2. Front Yards. Yard structures in front yards shall not exceed six feet in height, shall be located at least three feet from any property line and shall not be located in the panhandle portion of a panhandle lot.

3. Common Lots. For common lots, yard structures under six feet high may be located up to any property line subject to building or fire code limitations. Yard structures six feet in height or over shall be located at least three feet from any property line and shall not exceed 12 feet in height.

4. Elevated Decks. No deck or viewing area shall be placed on the roof of a yard structure unless an exception permit is approved pursuant to AVMC 15.74.070.

5. Drainage from Roofs. Yard structures shall be constructed in a manner so as to prevent rooftop water from draining onto any adjacent parcel.

C. Increase in Height. An increase of up to three feet in height for a yard structure within a setback may be permitted if an exception permit is approved pursuant to AVMC 15.74.070. [Ord. 2015-165 § 4 (Exh. A); Ord. 2012-146 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2012-140 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2011-136 § 20; Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.060 Storage sheds and yard buildings.

A. Applicability. Storage sheds, playhouses and similar enclosed yard buildings are permitted as accessory structures on common residential lots or on residential lots containing a primary residence, subject to the requirements of this section. For purposes of this code, the term “yard building” means any type of detached enclosed building over 18 inches in height and placed within required yard setbacks, including but not limited to storage sheds, garden sheds and enclosed playhouses. The term does not include attached enclosed patios, sunrooms, service porches or other enclosed rooms attached to the main building. Such rooms shall conform to the same setback and height regulations as the main building.

B. Standards. Yard buildings shall conform to the requirements listed below. Height shall be measured at the highest point of the structure.

1. Side and Rear Yards. Yard buildings under six feet in height may be located up to a side or rear property line subject to building or fire code limitations. Yard buildings six feet in height or over shall be located at least three feet from the property line and shall not exceed eight feet in height. Yard buildings not within a setback may be constructed up to the district’s maximum structure height set out in AVMC 15.10.030(A), Table 15.10.030.

2. Front Yards. Yard buildings in front yards shall not be located closer to the front property line than the front wall of the main building. Height and other restrictions shall be the same as for side and rear yards as set out in subsection (B)(1) of this section.

3. Common Lots. For common lots, yard buildings under six feet high may be located up to any property line subject to building or fire code limitations. Yard buildings six feet in height or over shall be located at least three feet from any property line and shall not exceed eight feet in height.

4. Number and Size. No more than two yard buildings shall be placed on any residential lot. No yard building shall exceed 200 square feet in ground area.

5. Elevated Decks. No deck or viewing area shall be placed on the roof of a yard building unless an exception permit is approved pursuant to AVMC 15.74.070.

6. Drainage from Roofs. Yard buildings shall be constructed in a manner so as to prevent rooftop water from draining onto any adjacent parcel.

C. Increase in Height. An increase of up to three feet in height for a yard building within a setback may be permitted if an exception permit is approved pursuant to AVMC 15.74.070. [Ord. 2015-165 § 4 (Exh. A); Ord. 2012-146 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2012-140 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.070 Swimming pools and water features.

A. Applicability. This section shall apply to bodies of water which are accessory to residential uses. The term “swimming pool” means a pool, spa, whirlpool or other body of water containing or capable of containing water to a depth of at least 18 inches and used for immersion by humans. The term “water feature” means a body of water used for decorative purposes other than human immersion, such as a fountain, fish pond, or waterfall.

B. Standards. Swimming pools and water features are permitted as accessory uses in residential districts subject to the following requirements:

1. Swimming Pool Location. For single-family detached or attached residences, swimming pools shall be located at least three feet, measured from water’s edge, from any side or rear property line. Swimming pools shall not be located within front yard setbacks. Community pools adjacent to common open area may be located up to the property line.

2. Water Feature Height. For single-family detached or attached residences, common areas and community entry features, fountains, waterfalls, slides and similar aboveground water features shall not exceed 12 feet in height.

3. Filter and Heating Equipment. Mechanical pool equipment such as pumps or filters shall be located at least three feet from the side or rear property line. Heating equipment shall be located so that the center of the outlet vent is at least four feet from the side or rear property line. The preceding setbacks shall be observed unless such equipment is placed within a building, underground vault or other enclosure which the director determines provides noise attenuation to less than 45 dBA at the property line. The director may require a report by a qualified professional to support such a determination. In addition, equipment shall be screened from horizontal view of surrounding properties. Such visual screening may consist of fencing, walls or landscape planting.

4. Fencing Requirements. All pools shall be fenced in accordance with the provisions of the city’s building code, state law and other applicable laws and ordinances. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-reference: nuisances, AVMC 8.24.010.

15.14.080 Accessory dwelling units.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to allow and regulate accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) in compliance with California Government Code Sections 65852.2 and 65852.22.

B. Effect of Conforming. An ADU or JADU that conforms to the standards in this section will not be:

1. Deemed to be inconsistent with the city’s general plan and zoning designation for the lot on which the ADU or JADU is located.

2. Deemed to exceed the allowable density for the lot on which the ADU or JADU is located.

3. Considered in the application of any local ordinance, policy, or program to limit residential growth.

4. Required to correct a nonconforming zoning condition, as defined in subsection (C)(7) of this section. This does not prevent the city from enforcing compliance with applicable building standards in accordance with California Health and Safety Code Section 17980.12.

C. Definitions. As used in this section, terms are defined as follows:

“Accessory dwelling unit” or “ADU” means an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence. An accessory dwelling unit also includes the following:

a. An efficiency unit, as defined by California Health and Safety Code Section 17958.1; and

b. A manufactured home, as defined by California Health and Safety Code Section 18007.

“Accessory structure” means a structure that is accessory and incidental to a dwelling located on the same lot.

“Complete independent living facilities” means permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as the single-family or multifamily dwelling is or will be situated.

“Efficiency kitchen” means a kitchen that includes each of the following:

a. A cooking facility with appliances;

b. A food preparation counter or counters that total at least 15 square feet in area; and

c. Food storage cabinets that total at least 30 square feet of shelf space.

“Junior accessory dwelling unit” or “JADU” means a residential unit that:

a. Is no more than 500 square feet in size;

b. Is contained entirely within an existing or proposed single-family structure;

c. Includes its own separate sanitation facilities or shares sanitation facilities with the existing or proposed single-family structure; and

d. Includes an efficiency kitchen, as defined in subsection (C)(4) of this section.

“Living area” means the interior habitable area of a dwelling unit, including basements and attics, but does not include a garage or any accessory structure.

“Nonconforming zoning condition” means a physical improvement on a property that does not conform with current zoning standards.

“Passageway” means a pathway that is unobstructed clear to the sky and extends from a street to one entrance of the ADU or JADU.

“Proposed dwelling” means a dwelling that is the subject of a permit application and that meets the requirements for permitting.

“Public transit” means a location, including, but not limited to, a bus stop or train station, where the public may access buses, trains, subways, and other forms of transportation that charge set fares, run on fixed routes, and are available to the public.

“Tandem parking” means that two or more automobiles are parked on a driveway or in any other location on a lot, lined up behind one another.

D. Application.

1. An application for an ADU that is subject only to a building permit under subsection (E) of this section shall be submitted to the building division. Site plans, floor plans, elevations, and draft deed restrictions shall be submitted with the application and documents required for submittal to the building division.

2. An application for a development review permit under subsection (F) of this section shall be submitted to the planning division. Site plans, floor plans, elevations, a project narrative, draft deed restrictions, and evidence of having given notice to the HOA, if applicable, shall be submitted with the application.

E. Approvals – Building-Permit Only. If an ADU or JADU complies with each of the general requirements in subsection (G) of this section, it is allowed with only a building permit in the following scenarios:

1. Converted on Single-family Lot. Only one ADU or JADU on a lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling on it, where the ADU or JADU:

a. Is either: within the space of a proposed single-family dwelling; within the existing space of an existing single-family dwelling; or within the existing space of an accessory structure, plus up to 150 additional square feet if the expansion is limited to accommodating ingress and egress (for purposes of this subsection, “within the existing space” includes a structure that is constructed in the same location and to the same dimensions); and

b. Has exterior access that is independent of that for the single-family dwelling; and

c. Has side and rear setbacks sufficient for fire and safety, as dictated by applicable building and fire codes.

2. Limited Detached on Single-family Lot. One detached, new construction ADU on a lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling (in addition to any JADU that might otherwise be established on the lot under subsection (E)(1) of this section), if the detached ADU satisfies the following limitations:

a. The side- and rear-yard setbacks are at least four feet;

b. The total living area is 800 square feet or smaller; and

c. The peak height above grade is 16 feet or less.

3. Converted on Multifamily Lot. Multiple ADUs within portions of existing multifamily dwelling structures that are not used as livable space, including but not limited to storage rooms, boiler rooms, passageways, attics, basements, or garages, if each converted ADU complies with state building standards for dwellings. At least one converted ADU is allowed within an existing multifamily dwelling, up to a number equal to 25 percent of the existing multifamily dwelling units.

4. Limited Detached on Multifamily Lot. No more than two detached ADUs on a lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling if each detached ADU satisfies the following limitations:

a. The side- and rear-yard setbacks are at least four feet; and

b. The peak height above grade is 16 feet or less.

F. Approvals. Development Review Permit (DRP). Except as allowed under subsection (E) of this section, no ADU may be created without both a building permit and a DRP permit in compliance with the standards set forth in subsections (G) and (H) of this section.

1. Process. A development review permit (DRP) is considered and approved ministerially, without discretionary review or a hearing.

2. Permit Fees. The city may charge a fee to reimburse it for costs incurred in processing development review permit (DRP), including the costs of adopting or amending the city’s ADU ordinance. The DRP-permit processing fee is determined by the planning director and approved by the city council by resolution.

G. General ADU and JADU Requirements. The following requirements apply to all ADUs and JADUs that are approved under subsections (E) and (F) of this section:

1. Timing. The city must act on an application to create an ADU or JADU within 60 days from the date that the city receives a completed application, unless either:

a. The applicant requests a delay, in which case the 60-day time period is tolled for the period of the requested delay; or

b. In the case of a JADU, when the application to create a junior accessory dwelling unit is submitted with a permit application to create a new single-family dwelling on the lot, the city may delay acting on the permit application for the JADU until the city acts on the permit application to create the new single-family dwelling, but the application to create the JADU will still be considered ministerially without discretionary review or a hearing.

2. Zoning.

a. An ADU or JADU subject only to a building permit under subsection (E) of this section may be created on a lot in a residential or mixed-use zone.

b. An ADU or JADU subject to a DRP permit under subsection (F) of this section may be created on a lot that is zoned to allow single-family dwelling residential use or multifamily dwelling residential use.

3. Fire Sprinklers. Fire sprinklers, approved by Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), are required in an ADU if sprinklers are required in the primary residence when constructed.

4. Rental Term. No ADU or JADU may be rented for a term that is shorter than 30 days.

5. No Separate Conveyance. An ADU or JADU may be rented, but no ADU or JADU may be sold or otherwise conveyed separately from the lot and the primary dwelling (in the case of a single-family lot) or from the lot and all of the dwellings (in the case of a multifamily lot).

6. Septic System. If the ADU or JADU will connect to an existing on-site water-treatment system serving the property, the owner must include with the application a percolation test completed within the last five years or, if the percolation test has been recertified, within the last 10 years. If the property on which the ADU or JADU is constructed does not utilize an on-site water treatment system, nothing in this section authorizes an ADU or JADU to utilize an on-site water-treatment system.

7. Owner Occupancy.

a. All ADUs legally created before January 1, 2020, are subject to the owner-occupancy requirement that was in place when the ADU was created.

b. An ADU that is created after that date but before January 1, 2025, is not subject to any owner-occupancy requirement.

c. All ADUs that are created on or after January 1, 2025, are subject to an owner-occupancy requirement. A natural person with legal or equitable title to the property must reside on the property as the person’s legal domicile and permanent residence.

d. All JADUs are subject to an owner-occupancy requirement. A natural person with legal or equitable title to the property must reside on the property, in either the primary dwelling or JADU, as the person’s legal domicile and permanent residence. However, the owner-occupancy requirement of this subsection does not apply if the property is entirely owned by another governmental agency, land trust, or housing organization.

8. Deed Restriction. Prior to issuance of a building permit for an ADU or JADU, a deed restriction must be recorded against the title of the property in the county recorder’s office and a copy filed with the director. The deed restriction must run with the land and bind all future owners. The form of the deed restriction will be provided by the city and must provide that:

a. The ADU or JADU may not be sold separately from the primary dwelling.

b. The ADU or JADU is restricted to the approved size and to other attributes allowed by this section.

c. The deed restriction runs with the land and may be enforced against future property owners.

d. The deed restriction may be removed if the owner eliminates the ADU or JADU, as evidenced by, for example, removal of the kitchen facilities. To remove the deed restriction, an owner may make a written request of the director, providing evidence that the ADU or JADU has in fact been eliminated. The director may then determine whether the evidence supports the claim that the ADU or JADU has been eliminated. Appeal may be taken from the director’s determination consistent with other provisions of this code. If the ADU or JADU is not entirely physically removed, but is only eliminated by virtue of having a necessary component of an ADU or JADU removed, the remaining structure and improvements must otherwise comply with applicable provisions of this code.

e. The deed restriction is enforceable by the director or his or her designee for the benefit of the city. Failure of the property owner to comply with the deed restriction may result in legal action against the property owner, and the city is authorized to obtain any remedy available to it at law or equity, including, but not limited to, obtaining an injunction enjoining the use of the ADU or JADU in violation of the recorded restrictions or abatement of the illegal unit.

9. Income Reporting. In order to facilitate the city’s obligation to identify adequate sites for housing in accordance with California Government Code Sections 65583.1 and 65852.2, the following requirements must be satisfied:

a. With the building-permit application, the applicant must provide the city with an estimate of the projected annualized rent that will be charged for the ADU or JADU.

b. Within 90 days after each yearly anniversary of the issuance of the building permit, the owner must report the actual rent charged for the ADU or JADU during the prior year. If the city does not receive the report within the 90-day period, the city may send the owner a notice of violation and allow the owner another 30 days to submit the report. If the owner fails to submit the report within the 30-day period, the city may enforce this provision in accordance with applicable law.

H. Specific DRP Requirements. The following requirements apply only to ADUs that require a DRP permit under subsection (F) of this section:

1. Maximum Size.

a. The maximum size of a detached or attached ADU subject to this subsection is 850 square feet for a studio or one-bedroom unit and 1,000 square feet for a unit with two bedrooms. No more than two bedrooms are allowed.

b. An attached ADU that is created on a lot with an existing primary dwelling is further limited to 50 percent of the floor area of the existing primary dwelling.

c. Application of other development standards in this subsection (H), such as FAR or lot coverage, might further limit the size of the ADU, but no application of FAR, lot coverage, open space, or the percentage-based size limit in subsection (H)(1)(b) of this section may require the ADU to be smaller than 800 square feet.

2. Lot Coverage. No ADU subject to this subsection may cause the total lot coverage of the lot to exceed 75 percent.

3. Minimum Open Space. For multifamily residential projects, no ADU subject to this subsection (H) may cause the total percentage of open space of the development to fall below 25 percent.

4. Height. No ADU subject to this subsection (H) may exceed 16 feet in height above grade, measured to the peak of the structure.

5. Passageway. No passageway, as defined in subsection (C) of this section, is required for an ADU.

6. Parking.

a. Generally. One off-street parking space is required for each ADU. The parking space may be provided in setback areas or as tandem parking, as defined in subsection (C) of this section.

b. Exceptions. No parking under subsection (H)(1)(a) of this section is required in the following situations:

i. The ADU is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit, as defined in subsection (C) of this section.

ii. The ADU is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.

iii. The ADU is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure under subsection (E) of this section.

iv. When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the ADU.

v. When there is an established car share vehicle stop located within one block of the ADU.

c. No Replacement. When a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of an ADU or converted to an ADU, those off-street parking spaces are not required to be replaced.

7. Architectural Requirements.

a. Windows and doors of the accessory dwelling unit may not have a direct line of sight to an adjoining residential property. Fencing, landscaping, or privacy glass may be used to provide screening and prevent a direct line of sight.

b. The materials and colors of the exterior walls, roof, and windows and doors must match the appearance and architectural design of those of the primary dwelling. The roof slope must match that of the dominant roof slope of the primary dwelling. The dominant roof slope is the slope shared by the largest portion of the roof.

c. Mechanical equipment shall be located at the furthest location possible from surrounding residents, nor shall mechanical equipment be placed within four feet of an adjacent property.

8. Landscape Requirements. Trees removed on site for construction of the ADU or to provide parking should be replaced with 24-inch box trees of the same variety.

I. Utility Fees.

1. If an ADU or JADU is constructed with a new single-family home, a separate utility connection directly between the ADU or JADU and the utility and payment of the normal connection fee and capacity charge for a new dwelling are required.

2. Except as described in subsection (I)(1) of this section, converted ADUs and JADUs on a single-family lot, created under subsection (E)(1) of this section, are not required to have a new or separate utility connection directly between the ADU or JADU and the utility. Nor is a connection fee or capacity charge required.

3. Except as described in subsection (I)(1) of this section, all ADUs and JADUs not covered by subsection (I)(2) of this section require a new, separate utility connection directly between the ADU or JADU and the utility. The connection is subject to a connection fee or capacity charge that is proportionate to the burden created by the ADU or JADU, based on either the floor area or the number of drainage-fixture units (DFU) values, as defined by the Uniform Plumbing Code, upon the water or sewer system. The portion of the fee charged by the city may not exceed the reasonable cost of providing this service.

J. Nonconforming ADUs and Discretionary Approval. Any proposed ADU or JADU that does not conform to the objective standards set forth in this section may be allowed by the city with a conditional use permit, in accordance with the other provisions of this title. [Ord. 2020-215 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2017-192 § 7].

15.14.090 Guest houses.

A. Purpose. This section provides standards and criteria for establishment of guest houses on single-family lots.

B. Planning Director Approval. Guest houses may be constructed on lots containing a single-family detached dwelling subject to the requirements of this section. The planning director shall approve application for a guest house ministerially, without public notice or a public hearing, if the director finds and determines the proposed unit conforms to the provisions of this section. In approving such a unit, the director may impose reasonable conditions to ensure compliance with the provisions of this section. Any action of the director may be appealed to the city council, without notice or public hearing. The scope of such an appeal shall be limited to questions of compliance with the provisions of this section.

C. Standards for Guest Houses. All guest houses shall conform to the following standards:

1. Guest houses shall conform to height, setback, and other zoning code requirements applicable to residential construction in the district in which the property is located. Guest houses shall be architecturally compatible with the main unit.

2. Only one guest house may be established on any lot in addition to the primary residence.

3. The floor area of a guest house shall not exceed 800 square feet.

4. There shall be no kitchen or cooking facilities within a guest house.*

5. No recreational vehicle or other vehicle shall be used as a guest house.

6. A guest house shall be used only by the occupants of the main residence, their nonpaying guests, or domestic employees. The guest house shall not be rented or otherwise occupied independently from the main residence.

D. Deed Restriction. Prior to issuance of a building permit, a deed restriction shall be recorded against the property to prohibit the use or conversion of the guest house to a rental unit, to a unit for sale, or to add a kitchen or cooking facility. [Ord. 2012-146 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2011-136 § 21; Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

*A room or portion of a room in a structure used or designed to be used for cooking or the preparation of food. The installation of a cooking appliance, whether a stove, range, microwave, toaster oven or other cooking appliance, plus a sink with running water constitutes a kitchen within this definition.

15.14.100 Mobilehomes and manufactured housing.

A. Purpose. This section provides standards and criteria for the placement, design, and construction of manufactured, modular, and mobilehomes in residential districts consistent with California Government Code Section 65852.3 et seq., as amended or superseded.

B. Definition. For the purposes of this code, the terms “manufactured home,” “modular home” and “mobilehome” shall mean a residential building transportable in one or more sections which has been certified under the National Manufactured Housing Construction and Safety Standards Act of 1974, as amended or superseded.

C. Individual Manufactured Homes. In accordance with California Government Code Section 65852.3 et seq. (as amended or superseded), an individual manufactured home may be permitted as a permanent dwelling on single-family lots within the RL and RM districts provided: (1) the unit conforms to all standards of the applicable zoning district; (2) the unit is placed on a permanent foundation system; and (3) the unit’s roof overhang or eaves are a minimum of 16 inches. Otherwise, the design and development standards for manufactured homes shall be the same as those imposed on single-family homes under this code.

D. Mobilehome Parks. In accordance with California Government Code Section 65852.7 (as amended or superseded), mobilehome parks are permitted in all residential districts provided, (1) the development conforms to all standards of the applicable zoning district, and (2) a conditional use permit is approved. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-reference: design standards, Chapter 15.62 AVMC.

15.14.110 Landscaping and open area.

Landscaping and open area in residential districts shall conform to the numerical standards of AVMC 15.10.030 and the design standards of AVMC 15.62.060. [Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-references: water efficient landscape regulations, Chapter 7.30 AVMC; nuisances, AVMC 8.24.010; subdivision landscaping and screening, AVMC 14.10.150; parking facility landscaping, AVMC 15.38.090; fire hazard regulations, AVMC 15.50.010.

15.14.120 Screening of equipment and facilities.

Screening of equipment and facilities in residential districts shall conform to the same provisions as nonresidential projects as set out in AVMC 15.62.080. [Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-references: screening of gas stations abutting residentially zoned properties, AVMC 15.22.210; loading facility screening, AVMC 15.38.100; wireless communications facility screening, AVMC 15.42.050.

15.14.130 Outdoor lighting in residential areas.

Outdoor lighting in residential districts shall conform to the provisions of AVMC 15.62.070. [Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.140 Special outdoor events in residential areas.

Special outdoor events in residential areas shall be regulated by the provisions of Chapter 11.05 AVMC. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.150 Home occupations.

A. Purpose. The regulations set out in this section are provided so that certain incidental and accessory home occupation uses may be established in residential neighborhoods under conditions that will ensure their compatibility with the neighborhood.

B. Use and Development Standards. In addition to the development standards and other requirements for each residential district, the following standards shall apply to the establishment and operation of home occupations:

1. The establishment and conduct of a home occupation shall be incidental and accessory and shall not change the principal residential character or use of the dwelling unit involved.

2. Only residents of the dwelling unit may participate in the home occupation.

3. A home occupation shall be conducted only within the enclosed living area of the dwelling unit or within the garage, provided no garage space required for off-street parking is used. The home occupation shall not occupy more than 15 percent of the combined floor area of the house and garage.

4. There shall be no signs, outdoor storage, parked vehicles, or other exterior evidence of the conduct of the home occupation. Neither the dwelling nor the lot shall be altered in appearance so that it appears other than a residence, either by color, materials, construction, lighting, sounds, vibrations, or other characteristics.

5. Electrical or mechanical equipment which creates interference in radio, television or telephone transmission or reception or causes fluctuations in line voltage outside the dwelling unit is prohibited.

6. The home occupation shall not create dust, noise or odors in excess of that normally associated with residential use.

7. No sales activity shall be conducted from the dwelling except for mail order sales. The dwelling unit shall not be the point of customer pickup or delivery of products or services, other than by mail or parcel service, nor shall a home occupation create greater vehicular or pedestrian traffic than normal for the district in which it is located.

8. Medical, dental, massage or other service occupations in which patrons are seen in the home are prohibited. [Ord. 2012-140 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.160 Child day care homes.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide standards for the establishment and operation of child day care homes (also referred to as “family day care homes”) within residential districts consistent with California Health and Safety Code Division 2, Chapters 3.4 and 3.6, as amended or superseded.

B. Licenses. All state and other required licenses shall be maintained in good standing for operation of any child day care home in the city and all such homes shall be operated in compliance with all applicable state and local health and safety regulations.

C. Small Child Day Care Homes. Small child day care homes are permitted in the RL and RM districts without approval of a discretionary permit. Small child day care homes may provide care for six or fewer children. However, per state law, such small child day care homes may provide care for up to eight children without an additional adult attendant if all of the following conditions are met:

1. At least one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school and a second child is at least six years of age.

2. No more than two infants are cared for during any time when more than six children are cared for.

3. The licensee notifies each parent that the facility is caring for two additional school age children and that there may be up to eight children in the home at one time.

4. The licensee obtains the written consent of the property owner when the family day care home is operated on property that is leased or rented.

D. Large Child Day Care Homes.

1. Where Permitted. Large child day care homes are permitted in the RL and RM districts provided an administrative use permit is approved by the planning director. Such a permit shall be approved if the director finds that the requirements of this section are met.

2. Number of Children. Large child day care homes may provide care for seven to 12 children. However, per state law, such large family day care homes may provide care for up to and including 14 children if all of the following conditions are met:

a. At least one child is enrolled in and attending kindergarten or elementary school and a second child is at least six years of age.

b. No more than three infants are cared for during any time when more than 12 children are cared for.

c. The licensee notifies each parent that the facility is caring for two additional school age children and that there may be up to 13 or 14 children in the home at one time.

d. The licensee obtains the written consent of the property owner when the family day care home is operated on property that is leased or rented.

3. Minimum Separation Between Facilities. No large child day care home shall be approved on a parcel which is within 1,500 feet of another parcel which either already contains such a home or which has a valid permit for such a home, unless the applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the director that a need exists for a particular service not provided by the existing large family day care located within 1,500 feet of the proposed large family day care.

4. Parking and Drop-Off. One off-street parking space shall be provided for each nonresident employee working at the large family day care home in addition to the required parking for the dwelling. The employee space(s) may be a tandem driveway space of minimum nine feet by 19 feet provided the space is kept clear and available for parking purposes. In addition, a drop-off/pick-up area, such as a driveway area or adjacent curb space, shall be provided so that children may be safely loaded and unloaded from vehicles. Instructions given and conditions imposed by the director pertaining to traffic and parking matters in conjunction with the operation of the large family day care home shall be furnished by the applicant to all persons placing children at the large family day care home.

5. Fire Extinguisher. The large family day care home shall contain a fire extinguisher and smoke detector devices and meet all standards established by the State Fire Marshal.

6. Outdoor Play Areas. All outdoor play areas shall be fully enclosed by a fence of minimum five feet in height which conforms to the standards of AVMC 15.14.030, Fences and walls. No such play area shall be provided where fences are limited to less than five feet in height.

7. Outdoor Play Hours. Outdoor activities shall be limited to between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

8. Noise. Noise from a large family day care home shall not exceed the ambient noise standards associated with a single-family residence as specified in AVMC 15.46.010, Noise standards.

9. Signs. No signs shall be permitted on or off the site. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.165 Short-term rental uses prohibited.

A. Prohibition. Short-term rental uses such as transient bed and breakfast, hostel, hotel, inn, lodging, motel, resort and other transient lodging uses for remuneration are prohibited in all residential districts, except as otherwise permitted by the municipal code.

B. Liability and Enforcement. Any property owner, tenant, subtenant, occupant, person acting as agent, real estate broker, real estate agent, property manager, reservation service or otherwise who arranges or negotiates for the short-term use of residential property in violation of the provisions of this section shall be liable pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 1.06 AVMC. [Ord. 2015-166 § 4].

15.14.170 Construction and guard offices.

A. Temporary Use Permit Required. The temporary placement of a trailer, recreational vehicle or other relocatable building, or the temporary use of a permanent structure on an active construction or grading site to serve as a construction and/or guard office may be permitted subject to approval of a temporary use permit pursuant to AVMC 15.74.050 and the following requirements:

1. Any temporary use and/or structure shall be removed from the site within 30 days after issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the last new building on the site.

2. Any permanent structure or portion thereof devoted to a temporary use shall be demolished or converted to a permanent permitted use within 30 days after issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the last new building on the site.

3. Any materials and equipment storage yard associated with a construction or guard office shall be removed from the site within 30 days after issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the last new building on the site.

4. Additional requirements imposed as conditions of the temporary use permit in order to ensure public safety and the mitigation of visual, traffic and other impacts. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.180 Model home complexes.

A. Temporary Use Permit Required. Temporary model home complexes and real estate sales offices may be established subject to approval of a temporary use permit pursuant to AVMC 15.74.050 and the following requirements:

1. The complex is used solely for the original sale of new homes or the first rental of apartments in projects of four or more units.

2. The complex is located within the portion of the project for which it is established. The temporary sales office shall be located at least 100 feet from an existing dwelling unit which is not a part of the new project.

3. The following structures and facilities are permitted in conjunction with the establishment of a temporary real estate office in conformance with an approved temporary use permit:

a. Model homes, garages and accessory structures which conform to the zoning regulations applicable to the properties that are being sold.

b. Recreational facilities that will become a permanent portion of the project in compliance with the zoning regulations applicable to the properties that are being sold.

c. Permanent streets and driveways that will be part of the project after the closure of the real estate office use.

d. Temporary sales office buildings, landscaping and children’s playgrounds, temporary and permanent fencing pursuant to AVMC 15.14.030, walks, and amenities.

e. Temporary vehicle parking and maneuvering areas to provide off-street parking.

B. Sales Office Location. Notwithstanding other provisions of this code, the parcel on which a temporary real estate office is established is not required to be a conforming building site provided the parcel is precisely described.

C. Signs. Signs for temporary model home complexes shall conform to Chapter 15.34 AVMC, Signs. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

15.14.190 Residential trash enclosures.

Trash enclosures in residential districts shall conform to the same provisions as for nonresidential projects as set out in AVMC 15.62.080. [Ord. 2011-131 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-reference: solid waste disposal, Chapter 7.05 AVMC.

15.14.200 Gate-guarded entries.

A. Site Development Permit. Establishment of gate-guarded entries for existing neighborhoods and new developments in the city requires city council approval of a site development permit. Any person desiring to establish a gate-guarded entry, whether manned or automated, shall submit a detailed gate-guarded neighborhood plan to the planning department for initial review. The plan shall provide the required information and satisfy standards as set out in this section. The plan shall not be processed until the director has determined that all required information has been submitted with the plan application.

B. Existing Entries Exempt. Replacement and maintenance of existing gates, fences, guard houses and other entry features are not subject to the requirements of this section.

C. Required Information. The neighborhood plan submitted by the proponents of a gate-guarded entry shall include the following:

1. Evidence of Identifiable Area to Be Served. A proposed gate-guarded neighborhood submitted pursuant to this section shall present evidence demonstrating that the control gates will serve a well-defined neighborhood.

2. Evidence of Neighborhood Support. For existing neighborhoods, the following evidence of resident support shall be required. The applicant’s submission shall include a survey showing majority support for the concept. At a minimum, signatures of 51 percent of the owners of property within the neighborhood evidencing written support for the plan shall be submitted by the applicant and utilized by the city in determining whether there is majority support for the plan, with each buildable lot or dwelling unit to be tabulated as one vote. This criterion shall not apply to new development.

3. Utility/Public Facility Coordination. The plan shall show the layout of adjacent utility and/or public facilities. Any facilities which are in conflict with the proposed gate system shall be relocated at the applicant’s expense.

4. Access by Services. The applicant submitting the plan shall provide written evidence from the service provider that all maintenance services, e.g., trash pick-up and street cleaning, will be maintained after the installation of the gated entry.

D. Design and Access Standards. Plans for establishment of a gate-guarded neighborhood shall incorporate the following design and access standards:

1. Emergency Access Provisions. The plan shall provide for the installation of an override system as prescribed by the city for emergency access. The system shall be approved by the Orange County fire authority and the police chief.

2. Entry Bypass Provisions. If the gate operates by way of a telephone system, a ring-through feature shall be provided so that cars waiting at the gate entrance will not cause waiting or queuing problems should a telephone line be in use, or a pull-out area outside of traffic lanes shall be provided to allow telephoning without blocking access.

3. Gate Setback. The setback of all gates shall be approved by the city engineer. The setback shall be evaluated by considering the number of dwelling units within a gated neighborhood, internal and external traffic patterns, number of gated entries, the number of lanes at each entry point, type of gate control at each entry and type of street from which access is being taken.

4. Turnaround. There shall be a minimum 38-foot radius turnaround area located on the public street side of the gate to ensure unrestricted access to and from the gate area and public street system. This required turnaround area may include a rolled curb and sidewalk provided there are no obstructions to vehicles on the sidewalk. This requirement shall be treated as a general standard which may be modified based upon site and public health and safety considerations at the sole discretion of the city.

5. Height of Gates. Vehicle entry gates shall not exceed eight feet in height and pedestrian entry gates shall not exceed six feet in height. Gates shall be of open design and height limits shall be exclusive of any decorative elements such as scrolls, finials or similar features, which may extend up to one foot above the maximum fence height.

6. Water and Other Entry Features. Decorative water features such as fountains and waterfalls shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Guard houses and covered entries shall not exceed 12 feet in height. Other entry features, such as bollards, shall not exceed six feet in height. Entry area lighting shall conform to the provisions of AVMC 15.14.130.

7. Access to Public Facilities. The design of the gated-entry system shall not result in the blockage or inhibition of access by the public to public or quasi-public facilities, whether existing or planned, such as parks, schools, hiking and biking, and equestrian trails, etc., which serve more of the community than the proposed gated neighborhood.

8. Review by City Staff and Fire Authority. The gate design plan shall be reviewed by the city engineer and planning director, who will forward recommendations to the city council regarding safety, function and aesthetics. The plan shall also be referred to the fire authority staff for its review and recommendations prior to a decision on the site development permit.

E. Exceptions to Design Standards. Notwithstanding the standards set out in subsection (D) of this section, the city council may approve exceptions to one or more of the design standards pursuant to the procedures of AVMC 15.74.070 if it finds that:

1. Unique physical features, including but not limited to the size of the neighborhood, justify an exception to one or more of the design standards; and

2. The exception will not create a material adverse impact to surrounding properties nor any health or safety hazard. [Ord. 2010-126 § 1 (Exh. A); Ord. 2010-123 § 3 (Exh. A)].

Cross-references: gated residential communities, Chapter 7.20 AVMC; design standards, Chapter 15.62 AVMC.

15.14.210 Two-unit projects.

A. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to allow and appropriately regulate two-unit projects in accordance with Government Code Section 65852.21.

B. Definition. A “two-unit project” means the development of two primary dwelling units or, if there is already a primary dwelling unit on the lot, the development of a second primary dwelling unit on a legally subdivided lot in accordance with the requirements of this section.

C. Application.

1. Owners.

a. Only individual property owners may apply for a two-unit project. “Individual property owner” means a natural person holding fee title individually or jointly in the person’s own name or a beneficiary of a trust that holds fee title. “Individual property owner” does not include any corporation or corporate person of any kind (partnership, LP, LLC, C corp, S corp, etc.) except for a community land trust (as defined by Revenue and Taxation Code Section 402.1(a)(11)(C)(ii)) or a qualified nonprofit corporation (as defined by Revenue and Taxation Code Section 214.15).

b. Any person with a mortgage interest in the lot to be split under this section must sign the application and the parcel map indicating the person’s consent to the project.

2. An application for a two-unit project must be submitted on the city’s approved form.

3. The applicant must obtain a certificate of compliance with the Subdivision Map Act and the implementing regulations in this code for the lot and provide the certificate with the application.

4. Only a complete application will be considered. The city will inform the applicant in writing of any incompleteness within 30 days after the application is submitted.

5. The city may establish a fee to recover its costs for adopting, implementing, and enforcing this section, in accordance with applicable law. The city council may establish and change the fee by resolution. The fee must be paid with the application.

D. Approval.

1. An application for a two-unit project is approved or denied ministerially, by the community development director, without discretionary review.

2. The ministerial approval of a two-unit project does not take effect until the city has confirmed that the required documents have been recorded, such as the deed restriction and easements.

3. The approval must require the owner and applicant to hold the city harmless from all claims and damages related to the approval and its subject matter.

4. The approval must require the owner and applicant to reimburse the city for all costs of enforcement, including attorneys’ fees and costs associated with enforcing the requirements of this code.

E. Requirements. A two-unit project must satisfy each of the following requirements:

1. Map Act Compliance. The lot must have been legally subdivided.

2. Zone. The lot is in a single-family residential zone. For purposes of this section, a single-family residential zone is a zone where the only residential use that is allowed as a primary use is a single residential dwelling on a lot.

3. Lot Location.

a. The lot is not located on a site that is any of the following:

i. Prime farmland, farmland of statewide importance, or land that is zoned or designated for agricultural protection or preservation by the voters.

ii. A wetland.

iii. Within a very high fire hazard severity zone, unless the site complies with all fire-hazard mitigation measures required by existing building standards.

iv. A hazardous waste site that has not been cleared for residential use.

v. Within a delineated earthquake fault zone, unless all development on the site complies with applicable seismic protection building code standards.

vi. Within a 100-year flood hazard area, unless the site has either:

(ia) Been subject to a letter of map revision prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and issued to the local jurisdiction; or

(ib) Meets Federal Emergency Management Agency requirements necessary to meet minimum floodplain management criteria of the National Flood Insurance Program.

vii. Within a regulatory floodway, unless all development on the site has received a no-rise certification.

viii. Land identified for conservation in an adopted natural community conservation plan, habitat conservation plan, or other adopted natural resource protection plan.

ix. Habitat for protected species.

x. Land under conservation easement.

b. The purpose of subsection (E)(3)(a) of this section is merely to summarize the requirements of Government Code Sections 65913.4(a)(6)(B) through (K). (See Government Code Section 66411.7(a)(3)(C).)

c. The applicant must provide evidence that the requirements of Government Code Sections 65913.4(a)(6)(B) through (K) are satisfied.

4. No Impact on Protected Housing.

a. The two-unit project must not require or include the demolition or alteration of any of the following types of housing:

i. Housing that is income-restricted for households of moderate, low, or very low income.

ii. Housing that is subject to any form of rent or price control through a public entity’s valid exercise of its police power.

iii. Housing, or a lot that used to have housing, that has been withdrawn from rental or lease under the Ellis Act (Government Code Sections 7060 through 7060.7) at any time in the 15 years prior to submission of the two-unit project application.

iv. Housing that has been occupied by a tenant in the last three years.

b. As part of the two-unit project application, the applicant and the owner of a property must provide a sworn statement by affidavit representing and warranting that subsection (E)(4)(a) of this section is satisfied.

i. The sworn statement must state that:

(ia) No housing that is income-restricted for households of moderate, low, or very low income will be demolished or altered.

(ib) No housing that is subject to any form of rent or price control will be demolished or altered.

(ic) No housing that has been withdrawn from rental or lease under the Ellis Act at any time in the last 15 years will be demolished or altered.

(id) No housing that has been occupied by a tenant in the last three years will be demolished or altered.

c. The city may conduct its own inquiries and investigation to ascertain the veracity of the sworn statement, including, but not limited to, surveying owners of nearby properties; and the city may require additional evidence of the applicant and owner as necessary to determine compliance with this requirement.

F. Unit Standards.

1. Quantity.

a. No more than two dwelling units of any kind may be built on a lot that results from an urban lot split. For purposes of this subsection, “unit” means any dwelling unit, including, but not limited to, a primary dwelling unit, a unit created under this section of this code, an ADU, or a JADU.

b. A lot that is not created by an urban lot split may have a two-unit project under this section, plus any ADU or JADU that must be allowed under state law and the city’s ADU ordinance.

2. Unit Size.

a. The total floor area of each primary dwelling built that is developed under this section must be:

i. Less than or equal to 800 square feet; and

ii. More than 500 square feet.

b. A primary dwelling that was legally established on the lot prior to the two-unit project and that is larger than 800 square feet is limited to the lawful floor area at the time of the two-unit project. The unit may not be expanded.

c. A primary dwelling that was legally established prior to the two-unit project and that is smaller than 800 square feet may be expanded to 800 square feet after or as part of the two-unit project.

3. Height Restrictions.

a. On a lot that is larger than 2,000 square feet, no new primary dwelling unit may exceed a single story or 16 feet in height, measured from grade to peak of the structure.

b. On a lot that is smaller than 2,000 square feet, no new primary dwelling unit may exceed two stories or 22 feet in height, measured from grade to peak of the structure. Any portion of a new primary dwelling that exceeds one story must be stepped back by an additional five feet from the ground floor; no balcony deck or other portion of the second story may project into the stepback.

c. No rooftop deck is permitted on any new or remodeled dwelling or structure on a lot with a two-unit project.

4. Demo Cap. The two-unit project may not involve the demolition of more than 25 percent of the existing exterior walls of an existing dwelling unless the site has not been occupied by a tenant in the last three years.

5. Lot Coverage. The maximum lot coverage is 75 percent. This lot coverage standard is only enforced to the extent that it does not prevent two primary dwelling units on the lot at 800 square feet each.

6. Setbacks.

a. Generally. All setbacks must conform to those objective setbacks that are imposed through the underlying zone.

b. Exceptions. Notwithstanding subsection (F)(6)(a) of this subsection:

i. Existing Structures. No setback is required for an existing legally established structure or for a new structure that is constructed in the same location and to the same dimensions as an existing legally established structure.

ii. Eight Hundred Square Feet – Four-Foot Side and Rear. The setbacks imposed by the underlying zone must yield to the degree necessary to avoid physically precluding the construction of up to two units on the lot or either of the two units from being at least 800 square feet in floor area; but in no event may any structure be less than four feet from a side or rear property line.

c. Front Setback Area. Notwithstanding any other part of this code, dwellings that are constructed under this section must be at least 10 feet from the front property lines. The front setback area must:

i. Be kept free from all structures greater than three feet high;

ii. Be at least 50 percent landscaped with drought-tolerant plants, with vegetation and irrigation plans approved by a licensed landscape architect;

iii. Allow for vehicular and fire safety access to the front structure.

7. Parking. Each new primary dwelling unit must have at least one off-street parking space per unit unless one of the following applies:

a. The lot is located within one-half mile walking distance of either:

i. A corridor with fixed route bus service with service intervals no longer than 15 minutes during peak commute hours; or

ii. A site that contains:

(ia) An existing rail or bus rapid transit station,

(ib) A ferry terminal served by either a bus or rail transit service, or

(ic) The intersection of two or more major bus routes with a frequency of service interval of 15 minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.

b. The site is located within one block of a car-share vehicle location.

8. Architecture.

a. If there is a legal primary dwelling on the lot that was established before the two-unit project, any new primary dwelling unit must match the existing primary dwelling unit in exterior materials, color, and dominant roof pitch. The dominant roof slope is the slope shared by the largest portion of the roof.

b. If there is no legal primary dwelling on the lot before the two-unit project, and if two primary dwellings are developed on the lot, the dwellings must match each other in exterior materials, color, and dominant roof pitch. The dominant roof slope is the slope shared by the largest portion of the roof.

c. All exterior lighting must be limited to down lights.

d. No window or door of a dwelling that is constructed on the lot may have a direct line of sight to an adjoining residential property. Fencing, landscaping, or privacy glass may be used to provide screening and prevent a direct line of sight.

e. If any portion of a dwelling is less than 30 feet from a property line that is not a public right-of-way line, then all windows and doors in that portion must either be (for windows) clerestory with the bottom of the glass at least six feet above the finished floor, or (for windows and for doors) utilize frosted or obscure glass.

9. Landscaping. Evergreen landscape screening must be planted and maintained between each dwelling and adjacent lots (but not rights-of-way) as follows:

a. At least one 15-gallon size plant shall be provided for every five linear feet of exterior wall. Alternatively, at least one 24-inch box size plant shall be provided for every 10 linear feet of exterior wall.

b. Plant specimens must be at least six feet tall when installed. As an alternative, a solid fence of at least six feet in height may be installed.

c. All landscaping must be drought tolerant.

d. All landscaping must be from the city’s approved plant list.

10. Nonconforming Conditions. A two-unit project may only be approved if all nonconforming zoning conditions are corrected.

11. Utilities.

a. Each primary dwelling unit on the lot must have its own direct utility connection to the utility service provider.

b. Notwithstanding subsection (F)(11)(a) of this section, a primary dwelling unit may have a direct utility connection to an on-site wastewater treatment system in accordance with this subsection and this code. Each primary dwelling unit on the lot that is or that is proposed to be connected to an on-site wastewater treatment system must first have a percolation test completed within the last five years or, if the percolation test has been recertified, within the last 10 years.

c. All utilities must be underground.

12. Building and Safety. All structures built on the lot must comply with all current local building standards. A project under this section is a change of use and subjects the whole of the lot, and all structures, to the city’s current code.

G. Fire Hazard Mitigation Measures.

1. A lot in a very high fire hazard severity zone must comply with each of the following fire hazard mitigation measures:

a. It must have direct access to a public street right-of-way with a paved street with a width of at least 40 feet. The public street right-of-way must have at least two independent points of access for fire and life safety to access and for residents to evacuate.

b. All dwellings on the site must comply with current fire code requirements for dwellings in a very high fire hazard severity zone.

c. All enclosed structures on the site must have fire sprinklers.

d. All sides of all dwellings on the site must be within a 150-foot hose-pull distance from either the public street right-of-way or of an on-site fire hydrant or standpipe.

e. If the lot does not have a swimming pool, the lot must have a water reservoir of at least 5,000 gallons per dwelling, with fire authority approved hookups compatible with fire authority standard pump and hose equipment.

2. Prior to submitting an application for an urban lot split, the applicant must obtain a certificate of compliance with all applicable fire hazard mitigation measures in accordance with this subsection (G). The city or its authorized agent must inspect the site, including all structures on the site, and certify as to its compliance. The certificate must be included with the application. The applicant must pay the city’s costs for inspection. Failure to pay is grounds for denying the application.

H. Separate Conveyance.

1. Primary dwelling units on the lot may not be owned or conveyed separately from each other.

2. Condominium airspace divisions and common interest developments are not permitted within the lot.

3. All fee interest in the lot and all the dwellings must be held equally and undivided by all individual property owners.

a. No timeshare, as defined by state law or this code, is permitted. This includes any co-ownership arrangement that gives an owner the right to exclusive use of the property for a defined period or periods of time.

I. Regulation of Uses.

1. Residential-Only. No nonresidential use is permitted on the lot.

2. No STRs. No dwelling unit on the lot may be rented for a period of less than 30 days.

3. Owner Occupancy. Unless the lot was formed by an urban lot split, the individual property owners of a lot with a two-unit project must occupy one of the dwellings on the lot as the owners’ principal residence and legal domicile.

J. Notice of Construction.

1. At least 30 business days before starting any construction of a two-unit project, the property owner must give written notice to all the owners of record of each of the adjacent residential parcels, which notice must include the following information:

a. Notice that construction has been authorized;

b. The anticipated start and end dates for construction;

c. The hours of construction;

d. Contact information for the project manager (for construction-related complaints); and

e. Contact information for the building and safety department.

2. This notice requirement does not confer a right on the noticed persons or on anyone else to comment on the project before permits are issued. Approval is ministerial. Under state law, the city has no discretion in approving or denying a particular project under this section. This notice requirement is purely to promote neighborhood awareness and expectation.

K. Deed Restriction. The owner must record a deed restriction, on a form approved by the city, that does each of the following:

1. Expressly prohibits any rental of any dwelling on the property for a period of less than 30 days.

2. Expressly prohibits any nonresidential use of the lot.

3. Expressly prohibits any separate conveyance of a primary dwelling on the property, any separate fee interest, and any common interest development within the lot.

4. If the lot does not undergo an urban lot split: expressly requires the individual property owners to live in one of the dwelling units on the lot as the owners’ primary residence and legal domicile.

5. Limits development of the lot to residential units that comply with the requirements of this section, except as required by state law.

L. Specific Adverse Impacts.

1. Notwithstanding anything else in this section, the city may deny an application for a two-unit project if the building official makes a written finding, based on a preponderance of the evidence, that the project would have a “specific, adverse impact” on either public health and safety or on the physical environment and for which there is no feasible method to satisfactorily mitigate or avoid the specific adverse impact.

2. “Specific adverse impact” has the same meaning as in Government Code Section 65589.5(d)(2): “a significant, quantifiable, direct, and unavoidable impact, based on objective, identified written public health or safety standards, policies, or conditions as they existed on the date the application was deemed complete” and does not include (a) inconsistency with the zoning ordinance or general plan land use designation, or (b) the eligibility to claim a welfare exemption under Revenue and Taxation Code Section 214(g).

3. The building official may consult with and be assisted by planning staff and others as necessary in making a finding of specific, adverse impact.

M. Coastal Regulations Apply in Full. Nothing in this section alters or lessens the effect or application of the California Coastal Act.

N. Remedies. If a two-unit project violates any part of this code or any other legal requirement:

1. The buyer, grantee, or lessee of any part of the property has an action for damages or to void the deed, sale, or contract.

2. The city may:

a. Bring an action to enjoin any attempt to sell, lease, or finance the property.

b. Bring an action for other legal, equitable, or summary remedy, such as declaratory and injunctive relief.

c. Pursue criminal prosecution, punishable by imprisonment in county jail or state prison for up to one year, by a fine of up to $10,000, or both; or a misdemeanor.

d. Record a notice of violation.

e. Withhold any or all future permits and approvals.

f. Pursue all other administrative, legal, or equitable remedies that are allowed by law or the city’s code. [Ord. 2022-225 § 3 (Exh. A); Ord. 2022-224 § 3 (Exh. A)].


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Cross-references: buildings and construction, AVMC Title 13; residential condominium conversions, Chapter 15.54 AVMC; affordable housing incentives, Chapter 15.58 AVMC; housing and reasonable accommodation, Chapter 15.66 AVMC.