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What Are The Zoning Laws For My Newly Built ADU?

In September 2020, a new California Department Of Housing handbook regarding laws, rules, and regulations of newly built ADU’s was released. This article regards the laws of only the state of California, cities in California with separate ADU ordinances may be different.

With the new CA Department of Housing Handbook, we now know more about what we can and can not do when building a new ADU. For example, one new rule is that you can now add 2 ADU’s to your property. This means you can add one full ADU and one junior ADU which is a maximum of 500 square feet. You can also now build a detached ADU up to 800 sq. ft. and 16' tall without any local discretionary approvals. ADUs created by conversions are also granted automatic approval.

You can now convert portions of existing multi-family buildings that are not used as livable space, such as storage rooms, garages, carports, mechanical rooms, attics or basements into ADUs. At least one ADU can be created though this method and up to 25% of the existing unit count. For example, if you have an 8-unit apartment building you may be able to add up to two new ADUs by converting existing non-livable space.

What Does This Mean For the home owner?


If you own a multi-family building such as an apartment building, you can convert non living space such as parking spots into livable ADU’s that will increase your monthly cash flow. ADU’s are now possible to build in historic districts as well.

Can ADUs Exceed General Plan and Zoning Densities? According to the California Department of Housing ADU Handbook, yes! An ADU is an accessory use for the purposes of calculating allowable density under the general plan and zoning that does not count toward the allowable density. For example, if a zoning district allows one unit per 7,500 square feet, then an ADU would not be counted as an additional unit. Further, local governments could elect to allow more than one ADU on a lot, and ADUs are automatically a residential use deemed consistent with the general plan and zoning

Neo Builders Inc. is an experienced construction company with a specialty in building ADU’s. Building an ADU with Neo Builders will increase your monthly cash flow in a stress free and organized process. Check out our Los Angeles rules and regulation page for more details.

Don’t wait, make the call today for a step towards financial freedom. An initial consultation and quote are FREE of charge.

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NEO Builders Inc.

(818) 300 2666

3940 Laurel Canyon, Studio City #394, 91604

License #: 1061134


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