Dec 23, 2019
Changes in State law related to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) will take effect January 1, 2020. These regulatory updates will remove minimum lot size requirements and reduce setback requirements, and private covenants (CC&Rs) may no longer prohibit ADUs on lots zoned for single family dwellings. These changes increase the number of properties eligible to have ADUs (also known as granny units, in-law units, and backyard cottages). However, properties must have adequate water and sewer or septic capacity in order to have an ADU.
“Accessory dwelling units provide property owners with the opportunity to generate income or house family members, while helping increase the number of housing units in the county,” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt.
Permit Sonoma will implement the regulatory changes and work with property owners to permit new ADUs. Zoning permits will no longer be required for ADUs, though the process will still require building permits and any applicable related permits such as septic and grading permits.
ADUs cannot be used for vacation or short term rentals of less than 30 days. Some properties may be located in the “Z” (Accessory Dwelling Unit Exclusion) overlay zoning, which prohibits accessory dwelling units. If your property does not qualify for an ADU, it may qualify for a JADU.
For more details on ADU requirements, step-by-step instructions for the application process, and frequently asked questions, please visit sonomacounty.ca.gov/PermitSonoma/ADUs.
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