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Senate Bill No. 1069 (Chapter 720, Statutes of 2016):

  • This bill was double-joined with AB 2299 (see below);
  • Unlike AB 2299, this bill does not address what local governments must include in an ordinance addressing accessory dwelling units; instead, this bill places restrictions directly on local governments’ discretionary authority to require additional parking spaces for a subset of accessory dwelling units as defined, regardless of whether or not an ordinance is in place;
  • Relevant to the Coastal Commission, this bill adds Government Code §65852.2 (e); this section prohibits a local agency, whether or not it has adopted an ordinance, from requiring additional parking spaces for an accessory dwelling unit located within ½ mile of public transit, within a significant historic district, as part of an existing primary residence, or when there is a car-share vehicle within one block of an accessory dwelling unit;
  • Additionally, this bill requires that accessory dwelling units within an existing single family residence (a.k.a. “junior accessory dwelling units, see AB 2406, below) must be processed as ministerial permits;
  • Implementation: Unlike AB 2299, the provisions of this bill apply directly to local regulation of secondary dwelling units, rather than through the adoption of an ordinance. The Coastal Commission will advise local governments with certified LCPs to update their plans to reflect these new policies.


Assembly Bill No. 2299 (Chapter 735, Statutes of 2016):

  • Revises Government Code §65852.2 regarding local government review and approval of accessory dwelling units (formerly called “second units”);
  • Prior law allowed local governments to enact ordinances regarding second units if those ordinances met specified criteria; local governments that did not enact such ordinances were required to approve applications for second units that satisfied certain statutory requirements; prior law provided that applications for second units were subject to ministerial review without a public hearing;
  • This bill modifies some definitions, adds provisions protecting historic structures and adds a number of the statutory criteria that must be included in a local ordinance for accessory dwelling units—the maximum size of an accessory dwelling unit is the smaller of either 1,200 sq. ft. or 50% of the living area of the dwelling unit to which it is attached; no more than one parking space per accessory dwelling unit bedroom may be required; and a direct passageway from the street to the new unit cannot be required;
  • Local ordinances that do not conform to the requirements of this bill will become null and void (please note that this does not alter or supersede the Coastal Act);
  • This bill was double joined to Senate Bill 1069 (Chapter 720, Statutes of 2016) as both bills made different amendments to the same section of the Government Code (§65852.2) which allows local agencies to adopt ordinances that allow for ministerial approval of accessory units in single family and multi-family zoning, provided that specific standards are met;
  • AB 2299 addressed policies that shall and shall not be included in a local ordinance, while SB 1069 addressed additional development standards that local agencies shall implement irrespective of whether or not an ordinance has been adopted.
  • Implementation: Local governments with certified LCPs should continue to submit ordinances implementing second unit policies and procedures to the Coastal Commission as LCP amendments to ensure that CDPs for ADUs comply with Coastal Act requirements. In areas where the Commission retains permitting jurisdiction, the Commission will continue to review applications for ADUs for compliance with the Chapter 3 policies of the Coastal Act.


Assembly Bill No. 2406 (Chapter 755, Statutes of 2016):

  • This bill adds Government Code Section 65852.22 authorizing a local agency to adopt an ordinance to allow the construction of junior accessory dwelling units with ministerial approval; as defined, junior accessory dwelling units must be constructed entirely within the exterior walls of an existing structure, cannot be more than 500 square feet, must contain an efficiency kitchen, and include an existing bedroom
  • Any local ordinance adopted pursuant to this bill would also exempt those units from water or sewer hookup fees, additional fire attenuation requirements, and may not impose additional parking requirements;
  • Implementation: Development activities and impacts will likely be similar to modest interior remodels. To minimize conflicts with other LCP policies, the Coastal Commission will advise local governments with certified Local Coastal Programs to incorporate any new ordinance adopted pursuant to this new law into their LCP. In areas where the Commission retains permitting jurisdiction, the Commission will advise local governments to refer applicants to contact the Commission directly. The Commission will consider any proposed projects in the context of this section, as well as Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act, and will likely consider such applications to qualify for CDP exemptions or waivers.