Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68)

California ADU Law 2020 Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68)

California ADU Law 2020: Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68)

What Is the New California ADU Law in 2020 and It’s Purpose?

California ADU Law 2020: Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68) is a law that updates currently existing laws involved with garage conversion and Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). AB-68 was approved by the governor and filed with the secretary of state on October 09, 2019. It is act to amend (make changes to) Sections 65852.2 and 65852.22 of the Government Code, relating to land use. AB-68 provides property owners with additional flexibility to develop legally permitted ADUs in California, with the purpose of addressing the current housing crisis in the state.

Prior AB-68 updating California ADU Laws in 2020, there were existing standards and requirements for obtaining legally permitted ADUs. What AB-68 has done is update currently existing laws involved with ADUs, such as Senate Bill 1069, in order to provide additional flexibility for property owners to legally convert garages into ADUs. One main purpose of laws passed in recent years that are in favor of ADUs is that they are meant to be a form of addressing the current housing crisis in California by increasing the amount of affordable housing in the state.

Due to the fact that the housing cost is so high in California and that the state is relatively more populated than others, ADUs have now become highly beneficial for many people. As more homeowners convert their garages into ADUs, additional affordable living space is created in the state. This allows renters save money while in addition allows homeowners to receive an additional form of income. This is a win-win situation for both parties, and this is why laws are being pushed towards being in favor of garage conversion more and more.

How Has AB-68 Updated or Changed Existing California ADU Laws in 2020?

We have already mentioned that AB-68 provides additionally flexibility for homeowners to obtain legally permitted ADU. Now we will go over the specific details about how AB-68 has affected previously existing laws as stated by on an official government website at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB68.

Specific Details About How AB-68 Affects California ADU Laws in 2020

(1) Changes Made by AB-68 Involved With Lot Size

Previously Existing Law:
“The Planning and Zoning Law authorizes a local agency to provide, by ordinance, for the creation of accessory dwelling units in single-family and multifamily residential zones and requires such an ordinance to impose standards on accessory dwelling units, including, among others, lot coverage. Existing law also requires such an ordinance to require the accessory dwelling units to be either attached to, or located within, the living area of the proposed or existing primary dwelling, or detached from the proposed or existing primary dwelling and located on the same lot as the proposed or existing primary dwelling.”
Changes Made by AB-68 to Existing Law Above:
“This bill would delete the provision authorizing the imposition of standards on lot coverage and would prohibit an ordinance from imposing requirements on minimum lot size. The bill would revise the requirements for an accessory dwelling unit by providing that the accessory dwelling unit may be attached to, or located within, an attached garage, storage area, or an accessory structure, as defined.”

(2) Changes Made by AB-68 Involved With Max Waiting Days for Permit Approval

Previously Existing Law:

“Existing law requires a local agency to ministerially approve or deny a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit within 120 days of receiving the application.”

Changes Made by AB-68 to Existing Law Above:
“This bill would instead require a local agency to ministerially approve or deny a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit or junior accessory dwelling unit within 60 days from the date the local agency receives a completed application if there is an existing single-family or multifamily dwelling on the lot, and would authorize the permitting agency to delay acting on the permit application if the permit application is submitted with a permit application to create a new single-family or multifamily dwelling on the lot, as specified.”

(3) Changes Made by AB-68 Involved With Max ADU Size

Previously Existing Law:
“Existing law prohibits the establishment by ordinance of minimum or maximum size for an accessory dwelling unit, or size based upon a percentage of the proposed or existing primary dwelling, if the limitations do not permit at least an efficiency unit to be constructed.”
Changes Made by AB-68 to Existing Law Above:
“This bill would instead prohibit the imposition of those limitations if they do not permit at least an 800 square foot accessory dwelling unit that is at least 16 feet in height with 4-foot side and rear yard setbacks to be constructed. This bill would additionally prohibit the imposition of limits on lot coverage, floor area ratio, open space, and minimum lot size if they prohibit the construction of an accessory dwelling unit meeting those specifications.”

(4) Changes Made by AB-68 Involved With Amount ADUs Per Lot

Previously Existing Law:
“Existing law requires ministerial approval of a building permit to create within a zone for single-family use one accessory dwelling unit per single-family lot, subject to specified conditions and requirements.”
Changes Made by AB-68 to Existing Law Above:
“This bill would instead require ministerial approval of an application for a building permit within a residential or mixed-use zone to create the following: (1) one accessory dwelling unit and one junior accessory dwelling unit per lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling if certain requirements are met; (2) a detached, new construction accessory dwelling unit that meets certain requirements and would authorize a local agency to impose specified conditions relating to floor area and height on that unit; (3) multiple accessory dwelling units within the portions of an existing multifamily dwelling structure provided those units meet certain requirements; or (4) not more than two accessory dwelling units that are located on a lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling, but are detached from that multifamily dwelling and are subject to certain height and rear yard and side setback requirements.”

(5) Changes Made by AB-68 Involved With Department of Housing and Community Development and Written Findings for Compliance With State Law

Previously Existing Law:

“Existing law requires a local agency to submit its accessory dwelling unit ordinance to the Department of Housing and Community Development within 60 days after adoption and authorizes the department to review and comment on the ordinance.”

Changes Made by AB-68 to Existing Law Above:
“This bill would instead authorize the department to submit written findings to a local agency as to whether the local ordinance complies with state law, and would require the local agency to consider the department’s findings and to amend its ordinance to comply with state law or adopt a resolution with specified findings. The bill would require the department to notify the Attorney General that the local agency is in violation of state law if the local agency does not amend its ordinance or adopt a resolution with specified findings.”

(6) Changes Made by AB-68

“This bill would also prohibit a local agency from issuing a certificate of occupancy for an accessory dwelling unit before issuing a certificate of occupancy for the primary residence.”

(7) Changes Made by AB-68

“This bill would require a local agency that has not adopted an ordinance for the creation of junior accessory dwelling units to apply the same standards established by this bill for local agencies with ordinances.”

(8) Changes Made by AB-68

“This bill would make other conforming changes, including revising definitions and changes clarifying that the above-specified provisions regulating accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units also apply to the creation of accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units on proposed structures to be constructed.”

(9) Changes Made by AB-68

“This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 65852.2 of the Government Code proposed by AB 881 and SB 13 to be operative only if this bill and either or both AB 881 and SB 13 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.”

(10) Changes Made by AB-68

“The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.”

Do You Require Additional Information About Assembly Bill 68?

You may refer to the official California government website mentioned above for any additional information about AB-68 that may not be provided on this page. An ADU contractor near you may be able to provide you with additional information as well.

Are you interested in doing garage conversion in Los Angeles County or a surrounding area? Our garage conversion experts at All American Builders would love to help you out if you are within our service area! You can learn more about the process of working with our company here or you may feel free to give us a call at any time at (844) 226-3314 for more information.

You can take advantage of AB-68 right away and start converting your garage into an ADU as soon as you’d like!