Apartments Within Houses Proposed By City To Meet State Law On Granny Flats

Written by on May 13, 2021

Malibu’s Planning Commission is setting a special meeting for one week from tonight … to consider rules for ADUs … Auxiliary Dwelling Units … second housing units on existing lots.

The California Legislature has legalized ADUs on virtually every lot … but importantly for Malibu … the new laws say the existing Coastal Act LCP still is in effect … unchanged.

That means the city has to come up with rules for ADUs that comply with the Coastal Commission rules … comply with state law … and prevent crowding.

Things like the height limit … setback rules … et cetera are all in the LCP … so they won’t change.

What will change … however … are the rules for interior second units.

New state law now requires the city to allow so-called junior ADUs.

These would be tiny carve outs from an existing house or condo … no more than 500 square feet in size … with a separate exterior entrance … tiny kitchen … and bathroom.

The term ADU would replace the existing term “second unit.” When the Planning Commission heard the item in September 2018, staff was not recommending the adoption of JADU regulations.

The Planning Commission was in the middle of setting up thr ADU ruoles when the pandemic struck.

Some of the more significant changes in ADU law increase the locations where ADUs can be built, increase the allowed size of ADUs, reduce the amount of required parking, require certain qualifying types of ADUs to be processed with only a building permit (a ministerial action), and allow ADUs in multifamily buildings.

The Planning Commission has added a provision stating that short-term rental of ADUs is not allowed.

And they want to make sure that that the size of an ADU is limited to 900 square feet ….or no more than 50 percent of the living area of the primary residence.

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