Chapter 17.74
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS Revised 6/18

Sections:

17.74.010    Purpose. Revised 6/18

17.74.020    Definitions. Revised 6/18

17.74.030    Required permits. Revised 6/18

17.74.040    Standards for all accessory dwelling units. Revised 6/18

17.74.050    Standards for attached and detached accessory dwelling units. Revised 6/18

17.74.060    Findings. Revised 6/18

17.74.070    Deed restrictions. Revised 6/18

17.74.080    Incentives. Revised 6/18

17.74.010 Purpose. Revised 6/18

This chapter establishes standards for the location and construction of accessory dwelling units consistent with Government Code Section 65852.2. These standards are intended to allow accessory dwelling units as a form of affordable housing in Capitola while maintaining the character and quality of life of residential neighborhoods. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.020 Definitions. Revised 6/18

Terms used in this chapter are defined as follows:

“Accessory dwelling unit” means a self-contained living unit located on the same parcel as a primary single-family residence with exterior access to the accessory dwelling unit provided independent from the primary single-family residence.

“Attached accessory dwelling unit” means an accessory dwelling unit that:

1. Shares at least one common wall with the primary single-family residence;

2. Is not fully contained within the existing space of the primary single-family residence or an accessory structure; and

3. Provides exterior access independent from the primary single-family residence.

“Detached accessory dwelling unit” means an accessory dwelling unit that does not share a common wall with the primary single-family residence.

Internal Accessory Dwelling Unit.

1. “Internal accessory dwelling unit” means an accessory dwelling unit that:

a. Is fully contained within the existing space of the primary single-family residence or an accessory structure; and

b. Provides exterior access independent from the primary single-family residence.

2. The term “internal accessory dwelling unit” includes junior accessory dwelling units as defined in Government Code Section 65852.22.

“Two-story attached accessory dwelling unit” means an attached accessory dwelling unit that is configured as either two stories of living space attached to the primary single-family residence or located on the second story above the ground floor of the primary single-family residence.

“Two-story detached accessory dwelling unit” means a detached accessory dwelling unit that is configured as either two stories of living space as part of a single accessory dwelling unit or second-story living space above a ground-floor garage or other accessory structure. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.030 Required permits. Revised 6/18

A. Internal Accessory Dwelling Units.

1. Administrative Permit. An internal accessory dwelling unit is allowed with an administrative permit if:

a. The proposed unit complies with Section 17.74.040 (Standards for all accessory dwelling units); and

b. The proposed unit is contained within an existing primary single-family residence or accessory structure that complies with the minimum side and rear setback requirements of the applicable zoning district.

2. Design Permit and Conditional Use Permit. The planning commission may allow an internal accessory dwelling unit located within an existing primary single-family residence or accessory structure that does not comply with the minimum side and rear setback requirements of the applicable zoning district with the approval of a design permit and conditional use permit.

B. Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.

1. Administrative Permit. Attached and detached accessory dwelling units consistent with Sections 17.74.040 (Standards for all accessory dwelling units) and 17.74.050 (Standards for attached and detached accessory dwelling units) are allowed with an administrative permit.

2. Design Permit and Conditional Use Permit.

a. The planning commission may approve an attached or detached accessory dwelling units that deviates from the standards in Sections 17.74.040(G) (Unit Size), (H) (Maximum Floor Area), (I) (Parking) and 17.74.050(A) (Height and Setback Standards), (D) (Doors and Windows), (E) (Orientation), (F) (Design) and (G) (Open Space and Landscaping) with the approval of a design permit and a conditional use permit.

b. All two-story attached and detached accessory dwelling units require planning commission approval of a design permit and conditional use permit.

C. Conditional Use Permit Findings. To approve a conditional use permit for an accessory dwelling unit, the planning commission must make all of the findings in Section 17.74.060 (Findings).

D. Time Limit to Act. The city shall complete its review of an accessory dwelling unit application requiring an administrative permit and approve or deny the application within one hundred twenty days after receiving an application. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.040 Standards for all accessory dwelling units. Revised 6/18

The following standards apply to all types of accessory dwelling units, including attached, detached, and internal accessory dwelling units:

A. Compliance with Zoning District Standards. An accessory dwelling unit shall comply with all requirements of the applicable zoning district except as modified in this chapter.

B. One Primary Residence on Parcel. An accessory dwelling unit is permitted only when not more than one primary single-family dwelling is present on a parcel or is constructed concurrently with the accessory dwelling unit.

C. Occupancy. The property owner must occupy either the primary or accessory dwelling. The planning commission may grant an exception to this requirement in the case of unique hardship with the approval of a conditional use permit.

D. Maximum Number per Parcel. Only one accessory dwelling unit is allowed on a single parcel.

E. Permitted Location.

1. Internal Accessory Dwelling Units. Internal accessory dwelling units are permitted only in the R-1, RM, and MU-N zoning districts on lots of four thousand square feet or more occupied by one single-family dwelling.

2. Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units. Attached and detached accessory dwelling units are permitted on lots of five thousand square feet or more occupied by one single-family dwelling only in:

a. The single-family residential (R-1) zoning district; and

b. The multifamily residential (RM) and neighborhood mixed use (MU-N) zoning districts.

F. Minimum Lot Size.

1. Internal Accessory Dwelling Units. An internal accessory dwelling unit is permitted only on parcels four thousand square feet or greater.

2. Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units. An attached or detached accessory dwelling unit is permitted only on parcels five thousand square feet or greater.

G. Unit Size. The maximum permitted floor area for an accessory dwelling unit is as shown in Table 17.74-1:

 Table 17.74-1: Maximum Accessory Dwelling Unit Size

Lot Size

Maximum Accessory Dwelling Unit Size

Under 4,000 sq. ft.

Not permitted

4,000 – 4,999 sq. ft.

500 sq. ft. (internal ADU only)

5,000 – 7,500 sq. ft.

500 sq. ft.

7,501 – 9,999 sq. ft.

640 sq. ft.

10,000 – 11,999 sq. ft.

800 sq. ft.

12,000 sq. ft. or more

1,000 sq. ft.

H. Maximum Floor Area Ratio. The combined floor area ratio (FAR) of a lot with a primary residence and an accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 0.60.

I. Parking.

1. Internal Accessory Dwelling Units. Off-street parking in addition to any off-street parking required for the primary residence is not required for an internal accessory dwelling unit. The floor area of the internal accessory dwelling unit shall not be included in the parking calculation for the primary residence.

2. Attached and Detached Accessory Dwelling Units.

a. Except as provided in subsection (I)(2)(c) of this section, one off-street parking space shall be provided for an attached or detached accessory dwelling unit in addition to any off-street parking required for the primary residence.

b. Required off-street parking may be provided as tandem parking on an existing driveway and may be located within minimum required setback areas from front, side, and rear property lines on the parcel in accordance with Section 17.76.040(B) (Parking in Front and Exterior Side Setback Areas).

c. No off-street parking is required for an attached or detached accessory dwelling unit in the following cases:

i. The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile of a bus transit stop with a frequency of service interval of fifteen minutes or less during the morning and afternoon peak commute periods.

ii. The accessory dwelling unit is located within a National Register Historic District or other historic district officially designated by the city council.

iii. When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.

iv. When there is a car share vehicle pick-up/drop-off location within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.

J. Utility Connections. Utility connection requirements shall be subject to state law and the serving utility district.

K. Fire Sprinklers. The city shall not require accessory dwelling units to provide fire sprinklers if they would not be required for the primary residence under the current fire code.

L. Vacation Rentals Prohibited. Accessory dwelling units may not be used for vacation rentals. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.050 Standards for attached and detached accessory dwelling units. Revised 6/18

The following standards apply to attached and detached accessory dwelling units:

A. Height and Setback Standards.

1. Height and setback standards for attached and detached accessory dwelling units are shown in Table 17.74-2.

2. The planning commission may allow a detached accessory dwelling unit to exceed the height limits in Table 17.74-2 to accommodate a roof design that matches special roof features of the primary residence. Such a height exception requires planning commission approval of a design permit and a conditional use permit.

Table 17.74-2: Accessory Dwelling Unit Setback and Height Standards 

 

Type of Accessory Dwelling Unit

Detached

Attached

Setbacks, Minimum [2]

Interior Side

5 ft.

Same as required for primary residence

Exterior Side

Same as required for primary residence

Rear

One-story unit: 8 ft. [3]

Two-story unit: 10 ft. [3]

Front

Same as required for primary residence

Height, Maximum

Maximum Height

One-story unit: 15 ft. [1]

Two-story unit: 22 ft.

Height of primary residence or maximum permitted in zoning district, whichever is less

Notes:

[1] Maximum height of twelve feet when accessory dwelling unit is ten feet or less from property line.

[2] No setback is required for an existing garage that is converted to an accessory dwelling unit.

[3] Minimum five-foot setback for accessory dwelling units constructed above a garage.

B. Incorporation into Primary Residence. A detached accessory dwelling unit may not be incorporated into the primary residence unless parking and setback standards for the expanded primary residence are satisfied.

C. Two-Story Accessory Dwelling Units. All two-story accessory dwelling units require planning commission approval of a design permit and conditional use permit.

D. Doors and Windows.

1. The entrance to a detached accessory dwelling unit shall face the interior of the parcel unless the accessory dwelling unit is directly accessible from an alley or a public street.

2. Openings (e.g., doors and windows) on exterior walls that are closest to and face adjacent residentially zoned properties shall be designed to minimize privacy impacts and maintain access to light and ventilation on adjacent properties.

E. Orientation.

1. The accessory 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 shall be minimized.

2. Parking accessed from an alley shall maintain a twenty-four-foot back-out area, which may include the alley.

F. Design. The design of the accessory dwelling unit shall complement the design of the primary residence by use of similar exterior wall materials, window types, door and window trims, roofing materials and roof pitch.

G. Open Space and Landscaping. Open space and landscaping shall be provided that is usable for both the accessory dwelling unit and the primary residence. Landscaping maintains privacy and provides screening for adjacent properties.

H. Mobile Units. Vehicles and trailers of any kind, with or without wheels, are prohibited as accessory dwelling units. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.060 Findings. Revised 6/18

To approve a conditional use permit for an accessory dwelling unit, the planning commission shall find that:

A. The exterior design of the accessory 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 accessory dwelling unit will not create excessive noise, traffic, or parking congestion.

D. The accessory dwelling unit has or will have access to adequate water and sewer service as determined by the applicable service provider.

E. Adequate open space and landscaping has been provided that is usable for both the accessory 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 accessory 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 accessory 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 accessory dwelling unit complements the design of the primary residence and does not visually dominate it or the surrounding properties.

H. The site plan is consistent with physical development policies of the general plan, any area plan or specific plan, or other city policy for physical development. If located in the coastal zone, the site plan is consistent with policies of the local coastal plan.

I. The project would not impair public 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. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.070 Deed restrictions. Revised 6/18

A. Before obtaining a building permit for an accessory 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 current owner. The deed restriction shall state that:

1. The accessory dwelling unit may not be sold separately.

2. The accessory dwelling unit is restricted to the approved size.

3. The property owner must occupy either the primary residence or the accessory dwelling unit.

B. 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 city’s approval of the accessory dwelling unit.

C. The deed restriction shall lapse upon removal of the accessory dwelling unit. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)

17.74.080 Incentives. Revised 6/18

A. Fee Waivers for Affordable Units.

1. The city may waive development fees for accessory dwelling units that will be rented at levels affordable to low or very low income households.

2. Applicants of affordable accessory dwelling units shall record a deed restriction limiting the rent to low or very low income levels prior to issuance of a building permit.

3. Landlords of accessory dwelling units shall be relieved of any affordability condition upon payment of fees in the amount previously waived as a result of affordability requirements, subject to an annual consumer price index increase commencing with the date of application for building permit.

B. Historic Properties. The planning commission may allow exceptions to design and development standards for accessory dwelling units proposed on a property that contains a historic resource as defined in Chapter 17.84 (Historic Preservation). To allow such an exception, the planning commission shall approve a conditional use permit and find that the exception is necessary to preserve the architectural character of the primary residence. (Ord. 1017 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2018)