San Carlos, CA

Building a Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) Unit

SB 9 (The California HOME Act) was signed by Governor Newsom on September 16, 2021, and became effective January 1, 2022.  SB 9 grants approval of: (1) a one-time, two-lot subdivision and subsequent development of up two units per resulting lot; or (2) development of up to four units on a lot that is not subdivided without any public hearing or discretionary (subjective) review.

Adoption of SB 9 Regulations

All cities in California must implement SB 9 and many cities are seeking clarity from the State on certain aspects of the law.

On Monday January 10, 2022, the San Carlos City Council adopted an Urgency Ordinance to impose interim regulations and objective standards for the subdivision and development of qualified Senate Bill (SB) 9 properties. On Monday February 14, 2022, City Council approved the extension of the Senate Bill (SB) 9 Urgency Ordinance 1576 for a period of 10 months and 15 days. 

The Urgency Ordinance intends to ensure that development of SB 9 projects are as compatible as possible with existing Single Family Neighborhoods while being consistent with the State Law. For lots subdivided under SB 9, the Urgency Ordinance limits to two units per resulting lot with a maximum size of 800 sq. ft. for all SB 9 units with no Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) or Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) allowed. For parcels not subdivided under SB 9, the Urgency Ordinance limits to four total units including two primary units, an ADU, and a JADU with a maximum size of 800 sq. ft. for all SB 9 units.

On Monday November 28, 2022, City Council approved the extension of the SB 9 Urgency Ordinance for a period of one year to December 2023. The goal is to adopt the Permanent SB 9 Ordinance after the Citywide Objective Design Standards process is complete in the Fall of 2023. The advantage of moving forward with an extension is that it will result in one set of objective design standards for all residential, which includes single-family, SB 9, ADU, multi-family, and mixed-use.  This will also allow for a more comprehensive and robust public engagement process. Staff anticipates the draft Permanent SB 9 Ordinance to be ready right after the citywide objective design standards are adopted, which will then be reviewed by the Housing Subcommittee and Planning and Transportation Commission before it comes to City Council for adoption consideration. Continue to follow the updates on SB 9 on this webpage and sign up to be included on the outreach list.  

For meeting information, agenda and staff reports visit the Public Meetings page.

PC/RDRC Joint Study Session

Thank you to those who attended the San Carlos Planning Commission and Residential Design Review Committee joint study session on Monday, June 6, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. At this study session, staff provided an update on the ongoing work, gathered input,  and received public comments on the Objective Design Standards being developed for future residential projects in San Carlos. Once completed, these design standards will be utilized alongside California housing-related legislation updates to help streamline permitting processes for all types of new residential units across the state.  In addition, staff presented on the progress, gathered input, and received comments on the permanent SB 9 Ordinance.

Get more information on the meeting here.

Application and Resources

Below are links to resources that provide more information on SB 9:

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Document Center

The Document Center provides easy access to public documents. Click on one of the categories below to see related documents or use the search function.

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Application and Resources10 documents

  • SB 9 Handout and Application
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  • SB 9 Full State Legislation
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  • SB 9 Urgency Ordinance 1595 Adopted Nov. 28, 2022
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  • Staff Report on Urgency Ordinance Extension-Item 8a
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  • SB 9 Urgency Ordinance 1578 Adopted Feb. 14, 2022
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  • Staff Report on Urgency Ordinance Extension- Pg. 256
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  • SB 9 Urgency Ordinance 1576 Adopted Jan. 10, 2022
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  • Staff Report and Draft Urgency Ordinance- Pg. 114
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  • Resources from 21 Elements
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  • Terner Center for Housing Innovation Report: Will Allowing Duplexes and Lot Splits on Parcels Zoned for Single-Family Create New Homes?
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