what are zoning law and California zoning laws

What Are Zoning Laws?

Zoning laws are laws that regulate structures and uses of property within designated districts or zones. They regulate and affect things such as the use of land, lot sizes, types of structures permitted, building heights, setbacks, and density (the ratio of land area to improvement area).

These laws are enacted in the exercise of police power and are upheld as long as they may reasonably protect public health, safety, and general welfare of an area. Counties or cities usually enact their own zoning laws and regulations pursuant to an enabling act of a state.

Some Types of Zoning

Aesthetic Zoning

Aesthetic zoning laws regulate architectural and landscaping requirements of an area. These laws can affect new buildings and old buildings. They may affect new buildings by requiring them to be built with a certain style of architecture that matches their surrounding buildings. They may affect older buildings by requiring that they can only be renovated with the same style and cannot be remodeled to alter it’s look in any different way.

Bulk Zoning

Bulk zoning laws are meant to control density and overcrowding. They set limits on uses of land, including sizes of buildings, lot sizes, and amount of open area.

More Information About Zoning Laws

Zoning districts are generally divided into residential use, commercial use and industrial use. These main three uses can then be broken down into other subcategories.

The rights of individuals and property owners must not be violated by Zoning laws. Here are some adaptation requirements of zoning:

  • They must be exercised in a reasonable manner.
  • They must be clear and specific.
  • They must not be discriminatory in any way.
  • They must apply to all properties in a similar manner.
  • They must promote public health, safety, and general welfare.

Some Exceptions to Zoning Laws

Buffer zones separate residential areas from non residential areas. Nonconforming use is an improvement that does not comply with the zoning ordinances because it was constructed prior to the adoption of the zoning laws

Buffer Zones

Buffer zones are areas such as parks, that separate residential areas from non residential areas.

Nonconforming Use

A structure that does not comply with the current zoning laws because it was constructed prior to the adoption of zoning laws and it is not illegal under certain circumstances. If the functionality of a legal nonconforming use building changes, it may become illegal nonconforming use unless the structure becomes upgraded in order to meet current zoning standards.

California Zoning

Most California cities have adopted ordinances that divide their jurisdictions into different types of zones. Specific regulations control each type of zone. Some types of zones include single-family residences, multi-family dwellings, commercial uses, industrial activities, open space or agriculture, and mixed uses.

Local zoning authority derives from the police power in Article XI, Section 7 of the California Constitution. California state law sets minimum standards for zoning regulations of counties or cities in order to supplement the authority. This makes counties and cities be discrete with controlling land use. Additionally, it is worthy of noting that zoning as a police power action is invalid unless it rationally promotes public health, safety, and welfare.

Building Codes

Building codes set the standards for the types of materials to be used for construction, fire prevention standards, electrical wiring, and more.

Most cities use building requirements and standards that are set by the Building Officials Conference of America (BOCA). A building permit from a city clerk is usually required to build or alter a building. The purpose of a building permit is to enforce compliance of building codes and zoning law. This is done by examining the plans, then inspecting the work.

 

Assembly Bill 68 (SB-68) Updates Existing ADU Laws in California

Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68)

California Assembly Bill 68 (AB-68)

What is AB-68 and It’s Purpose?

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 to AB-68, 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 ADU Laws?

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 Previously Existing Laws:

(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!

 

General Questions About Building Codes

Below are some general questions about billing codes. Details of specific Building Codes will not be discussed on this page.

What Are Building Codes?

Building codes are laws that set minimum safety standards for building construction. These laws embrace all aspects of building construction, including structural items, electrical, plumbing, mechanical systems, and more.

All building construction must be up to the standards of building codes in order to get legally approved and permitted by the government.

Who Needs Building Codes and Why?

All buildings and habitable structures need building codes. The main purpose of these codes are to protect the lives of humans.

Our safety relies on the structures that we enter in every day. Building codes help make sure that the buildings we enter into on a daily basis are sturdy and reliable enough to keep us safe from any potentially dangerous construction methods or mistakes.

Building codes help make sure that the buildings we enter into on a daily basis are sturdy and reliable enough to keep us safe. They do this by preventing any potentially dangerous construction methods or mistakes from being legally permitted. Some factors that building codes are meant to provide protection from include structural collapse, fire disasters, general deterioration, water damage, unsanitary conditions, electricity, and more.

This is done by regulation and inspection to make sure that necessary construction standards are up to code. If a buildings construction methods are inspected to not be up to code, it will not be legally permitted by the government. If a building is not legally permitted, it will not legally be able to have its own address. Only building and construction methods that are up to code will be legally permitted by the government.

How Reliable Are Building Codes?

Building codes are highly enforced and much is done to make them as reliable as possible. Although no code can eliminate all risk, they are meant to reduce risk to an acceptable level. They provide required standards which must be met in order for a building to be legally approved and permitted.

The reliability of building codes somewhat depend on proper construction approval by human workers as well as proper inspections done by human workers to make sure that everything is truly up to code.

Why Inspect a Building During Construction?

Inspecting a building during construction is the only way to truly verify that code compliance has been achieved.

On average, there are about ten inspections done on buildings and structures including homes, offices, factories, warehouses, and more in order to verify that minimum standards of building codes have been met prior to the spaces being approved as being habitable. This includes inspection of electrical safety, sanitation, structural safety, fire safety, and more.

Building Codes Are Constantly Changing

Building codes are constantly changing. Some changes make laws stricter, while other changes can make laws more flexible.

For example, laws involved with garage conversion in Los Angeles have dramatically changed for the better in recent years. Thanks to the new amendments of the law, homeowners now have much more flexibility when it comes to converting a garage into an additional legally permitted unit on a property.

The Process of Working with All American Builders

How Does Our Company Work?

The process of working with All American Builders very simple. You can set a free one hour appointment with us at your location in order to go over the details of your project. Based on the details discussed during the appointment, we will be able to prepare a free estimate for the work that needs to be done.

We aim to make the process of remodeling a home as quick, easy, and efficient as possible for homeowners.

Detailed Steps About The Process of Working All American Builders:

Step 1: We speak over the phone and set a free one hour appointment with homeowners at their location during a desired time and date to discuss details of a desired home remodeling project.

Step 2: The day of the appointment, we contact the homeowners in the morning to confirm the appointments.

Step 3: We arrive at the homeowners location during the time of appointment in order to discuss details of a desired project and do an inspection of the area.

Step 4: We provide a free estimate for the work desired based on details discussed during the one hour appointment.

Step 5: Once homeowners are happy with the price, payment options will be discussed. Financing will be available for qualified clients.

Step 5: We get started on the job as soon as the homeowners are ready for us to start.

Step 6: We keep the homeowners updated about progress through ever step of the way.

Step 7: We complete the job and make sure to confirm with homeowners that everything is as perfect as they desired.

Why Choose All American Builders?

At All American Builders, we understand the importance of your time, and that remodeling a home can be a difficult thing for some homeowners. Therefore, we try to make the process as simple as possible. Our goal is to make the process of remodeling a home as easy, fast, and efficient as possible, without sacrificing quality.

We treat every project as if it were our own. Why settle for anything but the best? Our contractors experienced with the services we provide. We will work hand in hand with you to fulfill all your remodeling desires in detail! Choose All American Builders now!

One of our company specialties is doing garage conversion in Los Angeles and we take care of the entire process from start to finish. We draw out blue prints, get permits approved, and do all the necessary construction work to legally help homeowners convert their old garages into secondary units on properties of single family homes. Check out our company information on Google Maps for more information.

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2 Bedroom Unit Addition in Los Angeles

Are you planning on building a new 2 bedroom unit addition in Los Angeles? The legal requirements of having a new unit built on a home’s property can vary based on location and specifics of the project.

In California, there is a recently passed law called Senate Bill 1069 (SB-1069). This law sets standards, requirements, and regulations for garage conversion and having a secondary housing unit on a single family home. Additionally, this law prevents cities from requiring their own permits as long as a secondary housing unit falls within it’s requirements.

Another thing to note is that this law refers to a secondary housing units as an “Accessory Dwelling Units.” A new two bedroom unit can be built in accordance with this law in order for legal permits to be obtained with ease.

Get Help With Building Your 2 Bedroom Unit in Los Angeles Now!

At All American Builders we specialize in all types of new room additions and home remodeling in Los Angeles, CA.

Adding a new 2 bedroom unit to your home to your home could be a challenging thing to do, but it doesn’t need to be. If you work with All American Builders, it can be a challenge won easily. Our experts will work closely with you to go over all your desires for the project.

We can implement all your desires into the unit while making sure everything is done 100% legally and up to code.

How Much Will it Cost to Build a 2 Bedroom Unit in Los Angeles?

The cost of building a new 2 bedroom unit in Los Angeles will vary based on the scale and details of each project. Do you want to get an accurate estimate for a job you desire? Our contractors at All American Builders can definitely help you out.

We can give you a free estimate for building a new two bedroom unit in your backyard. The way this works is that you can book an appointment with one of our project managers for one hour at your location. During this time we will go over all the details of your desired project and do an inspection of the area.

Once all the details are discussed during this free one hour appointment, we will first be able to give you a ball park number of cost. If it sounds like something you are interested in moving forward with, we will draw detailed plans with all the specifics and exact pricing included.

Why settle for anything but the best? Hire a team that has expertise to deliver top quality addition you need. Our craftsmen have over 13 years experience in the industry. We can accommodate any type of new room additions you wish for.

List of some room additions we build:

We can replicate any style and design your aiming for. Our flexibility in accommodating your unique desires ensures that the end result will meet even the highest of expectations.

Take the hassle out of adding a new unit on your property. Leave the job up to All American Builders. We will take care of the entire job from start to finish. Our team of experts will deal with all the sub-contractors, suppliers, and craftsmen that are needed to complete the project.