Chapter 18.33
ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS

Sections:

18.33.010    Purpose.

18.33.020    Review and approval.

18.33.030    Standards for wholly within existing development accessory dwelling units.

18.33.040    Standards for new development accessory dwelling units.

18.33.050    Combination proposals.

18.33.060    Converted parking.

18.33.070    Conformance with certified local coastal program.

18.33.080    Declaration of restrictions.

18.33.090    Incentives.

18.33.100    Owner occupied exception.

*    Prior legislation:  1996 zoning code; Ords. C-15-10, C-2014-10 and C-2015-04.

18.33.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to:

A.    Increase the supply of smaller units and rental housing units by allowing accessory dwelling units to locate on lots which contain an existing or proposed single-family dwelling;

B.    Establish standards for accessory dwelling units to ensure that they are compatible with existing neighborhoods; and

C.    Comply with state law regarding accessory dwelling units (California Government Code Section 65852.2) and the California Coastal Act (California Public Resources Code Sections 30000 through 30900).  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.020 Review and approval.

A.    Accessory Dwelling Unit Applications.  Accessory dwelling unit applications shall be submitted to and processed by the community development director as follows:

1.    Residential Dwelling Unit Allocation.  Accessory dwelling units require a residential dwelling unit allocation pursuant to Chapters 17.06 and 18.04; provided, that no processing fee pursuant to Section 17.06.040 shall be required.

2.    Coastal Development Permit.  All accessory dwelling units shall conform to Chapter 18.20, as provided below.

a.    A wholly within existing development accessory dwelling unit, as defined in Section 18.33.030, that does not involve the removal or replacement of major structural components (e.g., roofs, exterior walls, foundations) and that does not change the size of the structure or intensity of use, does not constitute “development” as defined in Public Resources Code Section 30106 and Section 18.20.020(C) and does not require a coastal development permit.  A wholly within existing development accessory dwelling unit changes the intensity of use if it primarily involves the creation of new habitable space.

b.    An accessory dwelling unit that is contained within or attached to an existing single-family dwelling unit or accessory structure and that does not change the intensity of use or expand the floor area, height, or bulk of the existing unit or structure by more than ten percent is exempt from the requirement to secure approval of a coastal development permit pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 30610(a) or, for existing guest houses, Section 30610(b).  An accessory dwelling unit changes the intensity of use if it primarily involves the creation of new habitable space.  This exemption shall not be granted if one or more of the criteria in Subchapter 7, Title 14, Section 13250(b) or, for existing guest houses, Section 13253(b) of the California Code of Regulations, as may be amended from time to time, are met.  If any criteria are met, the applicant shall obtain a coastal development permit pursuant to Chapter 18.20 rather than an administrative coastal development permit pursuant to this section.

c.    Any other accessory dwelling unit shall obtain an administrative coastal development permit, as defined in Public Resources Code Section 30624.  Such an administrative coastal development permit shall be processed as a “local coastal development permit” per Chapter 18.20 except:

i.    The community development director is the approval authority for an administrative coastal development permit;

ii.    The city shall not be required to publish any notice in a newspaper; and

iii.    Any administrative coastal development permit issued by the community development director shall be listed on the planning commission and city council agendas at their first scheduled meetings after the permit is issued.  If, at either meeting, one-third of the planning commission or city council so request, the permit issued by the community development director shall not go into effect and the applicant shall instead obtain a coastal development permit pursuant to Chapter 18.20.  Administrative coastal development permits shall not become effective until after the planning commission and city council have had an opportunity to complete this review.

d.    No hearing shall be required for the issuance of the administrative coastal development permit, the issuance of a standard coastal development permit pursuant to Chapter 18.20, or any appeal, for any accessory dwelling unit.

e.    The accessory dwelling unit shall comply with any existing coastal development permit issued for the property.

3.    Building Permit.  Accessory dwelling units require a building permit issued in conformance with this code, including Section 17.06.050.

4.    Unless otherwise required by the Coastal Act, the community development director shall act on all required permits within one hundred and twenty days of receipt of a complete application.

B.    Noncompliant Proposals.  If the requirements in this chapter are not met, the proposed accessory dwelling unit cannot be approved under this chapter.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, applicants may seek approval of the unit, addition, or renovation under the city’s generally applicable standards and procedures, including a variance pursuant to Chapter 18.23.

C.    Conversion of Existing Residence.  An existing residence, in conformance with the above regulations, may be converted to an accessory dwelling unit in conjunction with development of a new primary dwelling unit.

D.    Existing Accessory Dwelling Unit.  An existing accessory dwelling unit may be enlarged or modified only in accordance with the requirements of this section.

E.    Density.  To the extent required by California Government Code Section 65852.2, an accessory dwelling unit built in conformance with this section does not count toward the allowed density for the lot upon which the accessory dwelling unit is located.

F.    General Plan and Zoning Designations.  Accessory dwelling units approved in compliance with this chapter are a residential use that is consistent with the city’s general plan, local coastal land use plan, and zoning ordinance.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.030 Standards for wholly within existing development accessory dwelling units.

Any accessory dwelling unit that is wholly contained within the existing space of a single-family dwelling or accessory structure shall meet the following development standards and use restrictions:

A.    The accessory dwelling unit is located in an R-1, R-2, R-3, C-D, C-R, C-VS, or C-G zoning district.

B.    The lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located contains an existing or proposed single-family dwelling.

C.    The lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located does not contain another accessory dwelling unit or guest house.

D.    The accessory dwelling unit has exterior access independent from the existing single-family dwelling.

E.    The existing single-family dwelling or accessory structure has side and rear setbacks sufficient for fire safety.  If the existing dwelling or structure complies with the city’s setback requirements as described in this code, it shall automatically meet this standard.

F.    The accessory dwelling unit complies with applicable building codes and health and safety regulations; however, the accessory dwelling unit is not required to provide fire sprinklers if fire sprinklers are not required for the single-family dwelling.

G.    The single-family dwelling or accessory structure was constructed in compliance with all then-applicable city requirements or was in existence on December 12, 2018.

H.    The accessory dwelling unit may be rented in full or in part for the purpose of overnight lodging for terms of thirty or more consecutive days, but it shall not be rented for overnight lodging for shorter terms or subleased.  Neither the single-family dwelling nor the accessory dwelling unit shall be sold or otherwise conveyed separately from the other unit.

1.    Notwithstanding the above, the accessory dwelling unit may be rented in full or in part for the purpose of overnight lodging for a term of fewer than thirty consecutive days if (a) the accessory dwelling unit had been rented as a short-term rental for at least thirty nights in the six months prior to December 12, 2018, (b) the single-family dwelling is owner occupied, and (c) the short-term rental was in full compliance with all city requirements as of December 12, 2018.  In the event of discontinued use of the accessory dwelling unit as a short-term rental for a period of six months, the short-term rental use shall be deemed discontinued and this exception shall no longer apply.

I.    Either the single-family dwelling or the accessory dwelling unit is occupied by the owner of record as his or her principal residence.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.040 Standards for new development accessory dwelling units.

Any accessory dwelling unit that involves the addition of square footage to an existing single-family dwelling or accessory structure or the construction of a new detached structure, or is proposed in conjunction with a new single-family dwelling, shall meet the following development standards and use restrictions:

A.    The accessory dwelling unit is located in an R-1, R-2, R-3, C-D, C-R, C-VS, or C-G zoning district.

B.    The lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located contains an existing or proposed single-family dwelling.

C.    The lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located does not contain another accessory dwelling unit or guest house.

D.    The accessory dwelling unit meets all nondiscretionary requirements for any single-family dwelling located on the same parcel in the same zoning district.  These requirements include, but are not limited to, building height, setback, site coverage, floor area ratio, building envelope, payment of any applicable fee, and building code requirements.  The following exceptions apply:

1.    Detached accessory dwelling units shall have a minimum side setback of five feet and minimum rear setback of ten feet.  If any portion of the accessory dwelling unit is located in front of the main building, then the front and side yard setbacks shall be the same as a single-family dwelling in the zoning district.  The distance between buildings on the same lot must be a minimum of six feet.

2.    Notwithstanding subsection (D)(1) of this section, if the proposed accessory dwelling unit is an addition to an existing private garage:

a.    No setback shall be required for any portion of the existing private garage that is converted to the accessory dwelling unit; and

b.    Standard setbacks shall apply to the new floor area, unless the accessory dwelling unit is constructed above the existing private garage, in which case the side and rear setbacks for the accessory dwelling unit shall not be less than five feet, and the front setback shall not be less than twenty feet.

3.    The minimum lot area per dwelling unit required by the applicable district shall not apply, provided the minimum building site requirements shall be met.

4.    The only architectural and design standards that apply to accessory dwelling units are as follows:

a.    If the accessory dwelling unit is attached to a single-family dwelling or visible from any public sidewalk or right-of-way, the accessory dwelling unit shall use similar exterior siding materials, colors, window types, door and window trims, roofing materials, and roof pitch as the single-family dwelling.

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

c.    For accessory dwelling units attached to the single-family dwelling unit, new entrances and exits are allowed on the side and rear of the structures only.

5.    Pursuant to California Government Code Section 65852.2, no passageway is required in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit.  “Passageway” is defined as a pathway that is unobstructed clear to the sky and extends from a street to one entrance of the accessory dwelling unit.

6.    The accessory dwelling unit is not required to provide fire sprinklers if fire sprinklers are not required for the single-family dwelling.

7.    If the proposed accessory dwelling unit is a manufactured home, as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 18007, it shall comply with Section 18.06.060 (Manufactured homes), except Sections 18.06.060(B) (Approval), (C) (Location), (D)(1) (Width) and (D)(10) (Covered Parking).

E.    The gross floor area of the accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed eight hundred square feet and the gross floor area of the accessory dwelling unit and other buildings on the lot shall not exceed the maximum floor area ratio.

F.    The minimum gross floor area of the accessory dwelling unit shall be no less than one hundred fifty square feet or the minimum required for an efficiency dwelling unit as defined in Health and Safety Code Section 17958.1, as may be amended from time to time.

G.    Parking.

1.    A minimum of one off-street parking space for the accessory dwelling unit, in addition to the spaces required for the single-family dwelling, shall be provided for units within the following portions of neighborhood areas, as depicted in Figure 18.33-1:

a.    Miramar: Bounded by Mirada Road to the north, the California Coastal Trail and Naples Avenue to the west, Pullman Ditch to the south, and Highway 1 to the east.

b.    Casa del Mar: Parcels with frontage on either side of Pilarcitos Avenue and parcels with frontage on the south side of Wave Avenue.

c.    Alsace Lorraine: Parcels with frontage on either side of Kelly Avenue between Balboa Boulevard and Pilarcitos Avenue; and parcels bounded by Kelly Avenue to the north, the former railroad right-of-way to the west, Central Avenue to the south, and Potter Avenue to the east.

d.    Arleta Park: Parcels with frontage on either side of Poplar Street between Pacific Avenue and Third Avenue, and parcels bounded by Central Avenue to the north, Railroad Avenue to the west, Seymour Street to the south, and First Avenue/Alsace Lorraine Avenue to the east.

No parking space shall be required for any accessory dwelling unit located outside these areas.

2.    Notwithstanding subsection (G)(1) of this section, a parking space shall not be required within the areas depicted in Figure 18.33-1:

a.    For a unit that is on the same lot as a historic property listed on or eligible for listing on either the National Register of Historic Places or the California Register of Historical Resources;

b.    For a unit that is part of a proposed primary residence;

c.    When a parking exception has been granted in accordance with Section 18.36.080.

Figure 18.33-1: Draft Parking Map*

*    Code reviser’s note: This map is currently in draft form. When the city has finalized this map, it will be included in the code.

3.    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this code, the required parking space may be located as a tandem space in an existing driveway or in the required setbacks, and may have a permeable, all-weather surface.

H.    Accessory dwelling units shall not be approved absent a finding of adequate water supply and wastewater treatment capacity.  The accessory dwelling unit can be accommodated with the existing water service and existing sewer lateral, insofar as evidence is provided that the existing water service and existing sewer lateral has adequate capacity to serve both the primary residence and accessory dwelling unit.  No additional water meter shall be required, unless requested by the applicant.

I.    The accessory dwelling unit may be rented in full or in part for the purpose of overnight lodging for terms of thirty or more consecutive days, but it shall not be rented for shorter terms or subleased.  Neither the single-family dwelling nor the accessory dwelling unit shall be sold or otherwise conveyed separately from the other unit.

1.    Notwithstanding the above, the accessory dwelling unit may be rented in full or in part for the purpose of overnight lodging for a term of fewer than thirty consecutive days if (a) the accessory dwelling unit had been rented as a short-term rental for at least thirty nights in the six months prior to December 12, 2018, (b) the single-family dwelling is owner occupied, and (c) the short-term rental was in full compliance with all city requirements as of December 12, 2018.  In the event of discontinued use of the accessory dwelling unit as a short-term rental for a period of six months, the short-term rental use shall be deemed discontinued and this exception shall no longer apply.

J.    Either the single-family dwelling or the accessory dwelling unit is occupied by the owner of record as his or her principal residence.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.050 Combination proposals.

When an accessory dwelling unit is proposed in conjunction with another proposal for which city approval is required under this code, the following options apply:

A.    The applicant is encouraged to submit the accessory dwelling unit and other proposal(s) for combined review by the city.  If the applicant makes this election, he or she voluntarily forgoes the streamlining procedures described in Section 18.33.020.

B.    The applicant may elect to have the city process the accessory dwelling unit separately from the other proposal(s).  If the applicant makes this election, the streamlining procedures described in Section 18.33.020 would apply to the accessory dwelling unit proposal after the applicant obtains city approval for the other proposal(s).  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.060 Converted parking.

When a private garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished or converted in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit, the spaces contained in such structures shall be replaced to the extent they are required to meet the numerical parking requirements in Chapter 18.36.  The replacement spaces may be located in any configuration on the same lot as the accessory dwelling unit, including, but not limited to, enclosed spaces, unenclosed spaces, or tandem spaces, or by the use of mechanical automobile parking lifts; provided, that the spaces and driveway comply with the requirements found in Sections 18.06.040(D) and (E), to the extent those requirements do not conflict with this chapter.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.070 Conformance with certified local coastal program.

New accessory dwelling units shall conform to all applicable requirements of the city’s local coastal program, the zoning code, this chapter, and any existing coastal development permit, including that the proposed accessory dwelling unit will not adversely impact any coastal resources including any of the following:

A.    Environmentally sensitive habitat areas, or significant vegetation such as native trees, vegetation, riparian areas, wetlands, riparian or wetland buffers or visually prominent tree stands as designated in the local coastal program or the zoning code.

B.    Significant topographic features, including but not limited to steep slopes, ridgelines or bluffs, water courses, streams or wetlands or any areas as designated in the local coastal program.

C.    Significant public views including old downtown, scenic hillsides or ocean views from Highway 1 as designated in the local coastal program.

D.    Areas of public access to the coastal trail or beach areas including those as designated in the local coastal program.

E.    Archaeological resources.

F.    Prime agricultural land or soil.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.080 Declaration of restrictions.

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 present owner and stating that:

A.    Neither the single-family dwelling nor the accessory dwelling unit shall be sold or otherwise conveyed separately from the other unit, either directly or indirectly.

B.    The accessory dwelling unit is a permitted use only so long as either the main residence or the accessory dwelling unit is occupied by the owner of record as his or her principal residence, subject to Section 18.33.030(I) or 18.33.040(J).

C.    The restriction is binding on any successor in ownership of the property; lack of compliance will result in the accessory dwelling unit becoming an illegal, nonconforming use subject to the code enforcement and abatement proceedings established by this code.

D.    The deed restrictions shall lapse upon removal of the accessory dwelling unit.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.090 Incentives.

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

A.    Affordability Requirements for Fee Waiver.  Accessory dwelling units proposed to be rented at rents affordable to very low or low income households for at least five years may request a waiver of all city fees, subject to the sole discretion and approval of the city council.  The city and applicant shall enter into an affordable housing agreement governing the accessory dwelling unit and that agreement shall be recorded against the property.

B.    Parking.  The covered parking requirement for the primary residence shall be limited to one covered parking space and one uncovered parking space if an accessory dwelling unit is provided.  The uncovered parking space may be provided in the side yard setback (if on a corner lot) or front yard setback under this incentive with the parking design subject to approval of the community development director.  The maximum impervious surfaces devoted to the parking area shall be no greater than the existing driveway surfaces at time of application.  Not more than fifty percent of the front yard width shall be allowed to be parking area.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).

18.33.100 Owner occupied exception.

The owner occupancy requirement in Sections 18.33.030(I), 18.33.040(J) and 18.33.080(B) may be waived by the community development director for a period not to exceed two years in any ten-year period upon a finding of hardship due to medical, family, employment or other special circumstances provided the owner retains ownership and establishes his or her intent to maintain the single-family dwelling or accessory dwelling unit as his or her primary residence.  (Ord. C-2018-04 §2(Att. A)(part), 2018).