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July 2, 2021

An Introduction to California’s New ADU Laws

Media Coverage


An Introduction to California's New ADU Laws

New laws have made accessory dwelling units (ADUs) more accessible for California homeowners and real estate professionals than ever. ADUs are detached structures on the same land as a main home or dwelling. Many cities in California boast a high rental demand, like Los Angeles, San Diego, and much of the Bay Area. Many of the local restrictions prohibiting or delaying the development of ADUs in California are now obsolete.

New Funding Laws as of January 2021

California Health and Safety Code (HSC), Section 65583(c)(7) activated a requirement for cities and counties throughout the state to instate a plan that incentivizes and promotes the installation of accessory dwelling units offered at affordable rent prices targeted at low-to-moderate income households. A variety of state grants and financial incentives aimed at expenses for the planning, construction, and operation of an ADU are listed by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

California residents can find more information about ADU guidelines, including zoning standards, impact fees, and more in the HCD’s ADU Handbook.

Assembly Bill Nos. 881 and 68

AB-881 and 68, published in October 2019, will make it easier for homeowners and ADU builders to gain approvals to start new build projects faster. Per these new pieces of legislation, many local ordinances restricting ADU projects are now obsolete. The new law requires decisions to approve or deny requests to add an ADU to a property be made within 60 days, down from the original 120 days. Local municipalities can set ADU minimum and maximum lot sizes; however, these bills prohibit any lot coverage or minimum lot size requirements that municipalities may have previously enacted.

Rethink Your Backyard’s Potential With an Abodu ADU

Abodu develops prefab ADUs for homeowners in California and Washington. We’ve partnered with world-renowned architects to deliver custom-built ADUs that fit in even the tightest of backyards. Our product line includes three options: Abodu Studio, Abodu One, and Abodu Two. All pricing is available on our website—we don’t believe in hidden fees, ever. Connect with our team to learn how new California laws could make it easier for you to get started with our builders on your new accessory dwelling unit.


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