Exciting New ADU and JADU State Laws!


November 10, 2016

A miracle has happened in California and soon the requirement for an additional parking space will be abolished for many accessory dwelling units! As we noted in an earlier posting, parking requirements kill more potential ADUs than anything else. As of January 1, 2017, California jurisdictions will no longer be able to require a homeowner to add a parking space in order to create an accessory dwelling unit if the ADU falls into one of these five categories:

  1. The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile of public transit.
  2. The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
  3. The accessory dwelling unit is part of the existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure. 
  4. When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
  5. When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.


So if you or someone you know is thinking about creating an ADU or has one that was never permitted because of parking constraints, it’s a great time to consider building or legalizing one to house loved ones or people who work in our community! Additional parking may still be necessary when building a new detached ADU or enlarging the house to create space for an ADU. And if you are thinking about turning your garage into an ADU, you will still have to replace the lost parking space(s) elsewhere on your property, but no additional parking spaces will be required. 

The parking change was included in two laws that were signed by the Governor: AB-2299 and SB-1069. These ADU bills also made tremendous progress in eliminating utility agency fees and requirements. According to the new law no connection fees may be charged for ADUs created in the main residence or in any existing building on the property. These charges have been a big impediment to development, sometimes costing tens of thousands of dollars.  

The junior accessory dwelling unit bill that Lilypad sponsored, AB-2406, (Thurmond) was also signed by Governor Brown and went into effect immediately. JADU ordinances have already passed in much of Marin and are now coming up for a vote in Larkspur, Corte Madera and Unincorporated County. Other municipalities throughout California simply need to adopt the state JADU statute to permit conversion of spare bedrooms into flexible, private apartments. You can find links to the text of the three bills here

Financing opportunities are available to help homeowners develop these small homes, as well as legalize formerly unpermitted units. If you would like more information on how to get started on creating an ADU or JADU, please contact us.