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Please join the Accessory Dwelling Unit Public Hearing on June 1, 2020 on Zoom. 

 Front of ADU

Photo by: Second Unit Center

Draft ADU Ordinance 

Review the draft ordinance here and email srahman@cityofsancarlos.org with comments by May 20. Join the Planning Commission Public Hearing on Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting will be posted soon. 

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units), also known as granny flats or in-law units, provide independent living quarters for one household with full facilities for sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same lot as the primary single-family dwelling. The ADU may be attached, detached, or located within the living areas of the primary dwelling unit on the lot.

Examples of ADUs include:

  • Detached: The ADU structure is detached from the primary dwelling unit
  • Attached: The ADU structure is attached to the primary dwelling unit
  • Converted: The ADU within the existing primary dwelling unit or the ADU was established through conversion of an accessory structure (i.e. garage or pool house)

Benefits:

  • ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners
  • ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to create a home to share with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care
  • ADUs are a different form of housing that can help San Carlos meet its diverse housing needs
  • ADUs are a critical form of infill-development that can be affordable and offer additional housing opportunities within existing neighborhoods
  • ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators. 

Reason for the ADU Update:

In response to the Bay Area’s regional housing shortages, Governor Brown signed new laws (SB 1069 and AB 2299) from 2016 to 2018 to encourage the construction of more ADUs by reducing the regulatory barriers commonly found in local zoning ordinances. To comply with the updated state policies, the City of San Carlos is undergoing a process of updating its local ADU Ordinance (currently titled Second Dwelling Unit in the City’s municipal code).

Summary of Public Meetings:

The Community Development Department began the process of updating the ADU Ordinance to comply with state regulations on October 7, 2019 by holding a Planning Commission study session to get feedback from the community. Since then, the State passed more regulations to help make it easier to construct ADUs.  Shortly thereafter, Planning staff also presented to the Transportation and Circulation Commission on December 12, 2019 to get feedback on the new state mandated ADU parking standards.

The Planning Division is now ready to release a public draft of the proposed new ADU Ordinance on May 1 and has scheduled a Planning Commission Public Hearing on June 1, 2020 at 7 p.m. via Zoom to discuss the draft and hear from the community. Some of the topics to be discussed include state mandated maximum floor area for attached and detached ADUs (e.g. per state law, a one-bedroom ADU may be up to 850 sq. ft. and a two-bedroom ADU may be up to 1,000 sq. ft. in size), height requirements, parking (e.g. no replacement parking for garages that convert to an ADU per state law), and design preferences for orientation of windows and doors. 

Review the draft ordinance here and email srahman@cityofsancarlos.org with comments by May 20. Join the Planning Commission Public Hearing on Monday, June 1 at 7 p.m. via Zoom.  Instructions on how to join the Zoom meeting will be posted soon.