Chapter 17.99
SECONDARY DWELLING UNITS

Sections:

17.99.010    Definitions.

17.99.020    Purpose.

17.99.030    Locations permitted.

17.99.040    Permit procedures.

17.99.050    Findings required for architecture and site review permitted secondary dwelling units.

17.99.060    Design and development standards.

17.99.070    Deed restrictions.

17.99.080    Zoning incentives.

17.99.010 Definitions.

“Secondary dwelling unit” means a self-contained living unit, either attached to or detached from, and in addition to, the primary residential unit on a single lot. A secondary unit will be considered as attached to the primary residential unit for the purposes of this chapter when the secondary dwelling unit shares at least one common wall with the primary residential unit. All other secondary dwelling units for purposes of this chapter will be considered detached. (Ord. 886 § 1, 2005; Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.020 Purpose.

The purpose of secondary dwelling units is to allow for an increase in the supply of affordable housing, in conformance with the goals and policies of the housing element of the city of Capitola general plan, while maintaining the single-family character of the neighborhoods of the city. (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.030 Locations permitted.

Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, secondary dwelling units shall be allowed in the single-family residence district (R-1). (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.040 Permit procedures.

Any attached or one-story detached secondary dwelling unit meeting the same development standards as permitted for the primary residence in the zoning district and meeting the design standards in Section 17.99.060, or any single-story secondary dwelling unit that meets the design standards in Section 17.99.060, shall require administrative review for compliance with Section 17.99.060 from the community development department and a building permit.

Any secondary dwelling unit not meeting the requirements above shall be subject to: (1) an architecture and site review permit with a public hearing before the planning commission, (2) the findings as described in Section 17.99.050, and (3) the development standards as described in Section 17.99.060. (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.050 Findings required for architecture and site review permitted secondary dwelling units.

Before approval or modified approval of an application for a secondary dwelling unit requiring a conditional use permit, the decision making body shall find that:

A. Exterior design of the secondary dwelling unit is compatible with the existing residence on the lot through architectural use of building forms, height, construction materials, colors, landscaping, and other methods that conform to acceptable construction practices;

B. The exterior design is in harmony with, and maintains the scale of, the neighborhood;

C. The secondary dwelling unit does not result in excessive noise, traffic or parking congestion;

D. The property fronts on an adequate water main and sewer line each with the capacity to serve the additional secondary dwelling unit;

E. The site plan provides adequate open space and landscaping that is useful for both the secondary dwelling unit and the primary residence. Open space and landscaping provides for privacy and screening of adjacent properties;

F. The location and design of the secondary dwelling unit maintains a compatible relationship to adjacent properties and does not significantly impact the privacy, light, air, solar access or parking of adjacent properties;

G. The secondary dwelling unit generally limits the major access stairs, decks, entry doors, and major windows to the walls facing the primary residence, or to the alley if applicable. Windows that impact the privacy of the neighboring side or rear yard have been minimized. The design of the secondary dwelling unit shall relate to the design of the primary residence and shall not visually dominate it or the surrounding properties;

H. The site plan shall be consistent with physical development policies of the general plan, any required or optional element of the general plan, and any area plan or specific plan or other city policy for physical development. If located in the coastal zone, a site plan shall also be consistent with policies of the local coastal plan;

I. The orientation and location of buildings, structures, open spaces and other features of the site plan are such that they maintain natural resources including significant trees and shrubs to the extent feasible and minimize alteration of natural land forms;

J. The site plan is situated and designed to protect views along the ocean and of scenic coastal areas. Where appropriate and feasible, the site plan restores and enhances the visual quality of visually degraded areas. (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.060 Design and development standards.

All secondary dwelling units must conform to the following design and development standards:

1. Parking. Parking requirements shall meet the underlying zoning requirement for the combined square footage of habitable space of the subject property.

2. Unit Size. The floor area for secondary dwelling units shall not exceed five hundred square feet for lots between five thousand and seven thousand five hundred square feet. If a lot exceeds seven thousand five hundred square feet, a secondary dwelling unit may be up to six hundred forty square feet and, for lots in excess of ten thousand square feet, a secondary dwelling unit may be up to eight hundred square feet. In no case may any combination of habitable buildings occupy more than sixty percent floor area ratio (FAR) of the subject property. No secondary dwelling units shall be allowed on lot sizes less than five thousand square feet.

3. Existing Development on Lot. A single-family dwelling shall exist on the lot or shall be constructed in conjunction with the secondary dwelling unit.

4. Number of Secondary Dwelling Units Per Parcel. Only one secondary dwelling unit shall be allowed for each parcel.

5. Setbacks for Detached Secondary Dwelling Units. A minimum five-foot side-yard setback and minimum eight-foot rearyard setback are required for detached single-story structures containing a secondary dwelling unit. Detached secondary dwelling units shall be no higher than one story. If any portion of a secondary dwelling unit is located in front of the main building, then the front and side yard setbacks shall be the same as a main building in the zoning district. The entrance to the detached secondary dwelling unit shall face the interior of the lot unless the secondary dwelling unit is directly accessible from an alley or a public street. Openings (e.g., doors and windows) on exterior walls that are closest to and face adjacent residentially-zoned properties shall be designed to ensure that privacy and access to light and ventilation is not diminished on adjacent properties.

6. Setbacks for Attached Secondary Dwelling Units. Attached secondary dwelling units shall meet the same setbacks as a main building in the zoning district.

7. Other Code Requirements. The secondary dwelling unit shall meet the requirements of the Uniform Building Code.

8. Occupancy. The property owner must occupy either the primary or secondary dwelling.

9. Building Height and Stories.

a. The maximum building height for detached secondary dwelling units shall be fifteen feet, and the building height of a proposed attached secondary dwelling unit shall not exceed the lesser of either the height of the existing primary residential structure or the maximum height limit of the zoning district in which the project is located.

b. If the design of the main dwelling has special roof features that match the detached secondary dwelling unit, the maximum building height of the secondary dwelling unit may be exceeded to include such similar special roof features subject to review by the architecture and site review committee and approval of the planning commission.

10. Alley Orientation. When a secondary dwelling unit is adjacent to an alley, every effort shall be made to orient the secondary dwelling unit toward the alley with the front access door and windows facing the alley. Parking provided off the alley shall maintain a twenty-four foot back-out area, which may include the alley. Fences shall be three feet six inches along the alley. However, higher fencing up to six feet can be considered in unusual privacy, security or design circumstances subject to review and approval of the planning commission.

11. Design. The design of the secondary dwelling unit shall relate to the design of the primary residence by use of the similar exterior wall materials, window types, door and window trims, roofing materials and roof pitch.

12. Open Space and Landscaping. The site plan provides open space and landscaping that is useful for both the secondary dwelling unit and the primary residence. Landscaping shall be provided which provides for the privacy and screening of adjacent properties.

13. Mobile Units. Vehicles of any kind, with or without wheels, and trailers are prohibited as secondary dwelling units. (Ord. 860 § 1, 2003; Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.070 Deed restrictions.

Before obtaining a building permit for a secondary dwelling unit, the property owner shall file with the county recorder a declaration of restrictions containing a reference to the deed under which the property was acquired by the present owner and stating that:

A. The secondary dwelling unit shall not be sold separately;

B. The unit is restricted to the approved size;

C. The administrative review or the architecture and site review permit, whichever applies, for the secondary dwelling unit shall be in effect only so long as the owner of record occupies either the main residence or the secondary dwelling unit;

D. The above declarations are binding upon any successor in ownership of the property. Lack of compliance shall be cause for code enforcement and/or revoking the administrative review or the architecture and site review permit, whichever applies;

E. The deed restrictions shall lapse upon removal of the secondary dwelling unit. (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)

17.99.080 Zoning incentives.

The following incentives are to encourage construction of secondary dwelling units:

A. Affordability Requirements for Fee Waivers. Secondary dwelling units proposed to be rented at low or very low income levels, as established by the city, may have development fees waived per the city’s fee schedule (Resolution No. 3183, adopted 12/13/01, as amended). Landlords of secondary dwelling units shall be relieved of the affordability condition upon payment of fees in the amount previously waived as a result of affordability requirements, subject to an annual CPI increase commencing with the date of application for building permit. Applicants of affordable secondary dwelling units must record a deed restriction limiting the rent to low or very low-income levels prior to issuance of a building permit.

B. Historic Properties. Secondary dwelling units proposed on proprieties that contain local, state, or federal historic building(s) or potentially historic building(s), as identified by a professional architectural historian approved by the city, may be entitled to certain waivers with respect to setbacks, parking, height, unit size, and other design features as deemed appropriate by the planning commission, for the purposes of preserving the architectural character of the primary residence. (Ord. 858 § 1, 2003)