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ADU Zoning in Temple City Guide

Local Updates in ADU Zoning



Perhaps you find your Temple City home becoming a little too small. Maybe you wish you had space for a workshop or family to stay when they visit. Maybe you would like a home office separate from the rest of your home. Think about adding an accessory dwelling units (ADU) that you can use as both a living space and a workspace.


You probably have heard the laymen terms for accessory dwelling unit such as mother-in-law apartment, granny flat, tiny house or carriage house. dwelling unit is the regulatory and legal terminology for an apartment or secondary home sharing a building lot with a primary home of greater dimensions, according to the American Planning Association.


ADU Zoning in Temple City


Recently, Temple City updated its zoning regulations to match that of the state of California. These new zoning laws apply to all new construction.


What makes an ADU different from a simple workshop or bedroom addition is that an dwelling unit has a kitchen, living area plus a separate entrance. You can have an dwelling unit that attaches to a garage or home or a freestanding dwelling unit. Typical designs utilize the electric, gas and water lines of the main home.


The ADU zoning laws make provisions for both junior accessory dwelling units (JADU) and the full-size accessory units. The code update complies with California’s dwelling unit mandate and Temple City zoning laws changed in 2019. These updated changes to dwelling unit zoning reflect the legal requirements in California SB13, AB68, AB881 and AB670.


You still have to obtain a permit to construct accessory dwelling units according to Temple City Zoning. In 2018, Temple City issued 23 dwelling unit project permits, higher than the state average. You need the permit for both garage conversions and new construction.


ADU Updates to Local Zoning Codes


The new law lets an owner of a single-family home build at least one dwelling unit on their existing plat/lot. You can build more than that on a multi-family lot. The state law lets you construct one dwelling unit and one JADU on an owner-occupied single-family lot. On a multi-family lot, for every four legally-established residential units, the owner may construct one dwelling unit.


You may construct a detached or attached dwelling unit or junior accessory dwelling unit. The new Temple City zoning laws let you convert an existing space or construct something new for an dwelling unit. A junior dwelling unit must convert an existing space.


According to State Law AB-68, an dwelling unit on a residential lot is not subject to the minimum lot size prescribed in the local zoning code for single-family or multi-family dwellings. The dwelling unit size can be up to 850 square feet if a one-bedroom or 1,000 square feet for a two-bedroom. The homeowner may construct a Junior dwelling unit of up to 500 square feet. Any of the accessory dwellings must be at least 150 square feet.


The code also updates the setback requirements to a maximum of no more than four feet from the rear and side property lines. This does not apply to converted spaces in a legally established existing home whether you build dwelling units or Jdwelling units, according to the updated state laws AB68 and AB881. This differs for converted spaces and attached dwelling units that the homeowner expands as these do have to comply with the underlying zoning setbacks. Regarding parking requirements, if you convert an existing garage the project does not require parking. Unless the zoning for the primary home requires sprinklers, you do not need to install them in the accessory dwelling.


According to local Temple City laws, you do have to build an accessory dwelling that matches the main home’s architectural style. The updated zoning code includes the articulation, roof pitch and window size as items that must match. A slew of other items also must match the main house including the direction of its opening, its exterior building materials, its window units to wall size, the exterior pattern, the lighting fixtures, any garage door used and its paint colors. Essentially, in layman’s terms, it has to be matchy-matchy.


You also have to construct a six-foot-high fence or wall that obscures the structure along the rear and side of the property lines that are nearest to the tiny house as well as 15-gallon hedges planted five feet on center along the same property lines. The exception to this is converting an existing structure with a less than five feet setback. You cannot construct an accessory dwelling higher than 18 feet and the top plate cannot exceed nine feet. Your new construction can share utility connections as well as meters with the main house.


Approval for ADU Zoning in Temple City


Before you can begin construction, you must submit an application with your design plans to the Temple City Zoning department. The municipality conducts a ministerial review process within 120 days. If not approved or denied within 120 days, you can consider it approved.


That sums up the dwelling unit zoning updates. Contact us today to learn more about garage conversions and adding accessory dwellings. We can help you navigate the local zoning codes so your construction follows all local Temple City laws.

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