Orinda ADU / Granny Flat Ordinance

ORINDA (updated) http://caladu.org/ordinance/orinda-04-16-2018.pdf
ORINDA http://caladu.org/ordinance/Orinda-08-29-2017.pdf


April 11,2018


    1. Mail

Director Ben Metcalf

California Department of Housing& Community Development 2020 West El Camino Avenue

Sacramento, CA 95833

Re:Oty of Orinda k.cessory Dwelling UnitOrdinance

Dear Mr. Metcalf,

On March 6,2018,the City Council of the City of Orinda adopted Ordinance 18-02 to address recent changes in state law regarding accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Pursuant to Government Code §65852.2(h), the City hereby submits a copy of the Ordinance to the Department of Housing and Community Development.

The City developed Ordinance 18-02 in full compliance with Government Code §65852.2 and the City of Orinda’s General Plan,which includes a policy to support and encourage the creation of AOUs. For example,Ordinance 18- 02:

      • Expands areas where AD Us can be built to include all zoningdistricts that allow single-family uses;
      • Applies streamlined approval to an ADU proposed to be built concurrently with a single-family dwelling unit;
      • Allows zero setback (subject to fire safety) for ADUs that are converts of legally-constructed garages; and
      • Reduces parking requirements to a maximum of one (1) parking space per ADU.

At this time, the Ordinance does not designate areas where ADUs are not permitted,require an applicant to be an owner-occupant, or prohibit ADUs from being used as short-term rentals.



Drummond Buckley Planning Director

Gell4n1 Information Administration Plannln& Parts & Recreation


(925) 253-4200 (ph) [925) 253-4220 (phi (9251 253-4210 (phJ (925) 254-2445 (phJ (925) 2546820 (ph) (9251 253-4231 (ph)
(925) 254-9158 (fax) (925) 254-2068 (fax) (925) 253-7719 (faxl (925) 253-7716 [fax) (925) 254-9158 (fox) (9251 253-7699 (fax)


Ordinance 1s..02

The City Council of the City of Orinda DOES ORDAIN as follows:


The City Council of the City of Orinda intends, by adopting this ordinance,to amend §

17.3.4 (Accessory Dwelling Units},within Title 17, Zoning,of the Orinda Municipal Code

{OMC) and to make other related amendments to § 17.2.3 (Definitions) and § 17.4.22 (Accessory structures). This amendment intends to bring Orindas ADU regulations into conformity with state law.


The following portions of the Municipal Code are amended and added as specified below and in Attachment A. Attachment A shows additions with double-underlined text and deletions with strike ot text.

Municipal Code Provision Action
§17.3.4 Amendments as shown in Attachment A.
§17.2.3 Amendments as shown In Attachment A.
§17.4.22 Amendments as shown in Attachment A.


  1. The purpose of this ordinance is to bring the OMC into conformity with state law on ADUs, including Senate Biii 229 and Assembly Bill 494 (2017), which amended Government Code §65852.2.

  1. ADUs provide a community benefit by expanding the number and type of residential facilities available and assist ADUowners by providing additional affordable space for housing friends/family and/or revenue that may be used for maintenance,upgrades and other costs.

  1. If not regulated, ADUs can create nuisances such as overcrowding, illegal vehicle

parking, trafficflow disruptions, and risks to public safety. The restrictions of this ordinance are necessary to prevent a burden on City services and potential adverse impacts on residential neighborhoods posed by.AOUs.. , .....11!-lwli

  1. Thisordinance isnot intended to provide any owner of residential propertywith the right or privilege to violate any private condHions,covenants, and restrictions applicable to the owner’s property that may prohibit the use of such owner’s residential property for ADU purposes as defined herein.


If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason held to be invalid,such a decision shall not affectthe validity of

the remaining portions of this ordinance. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed each section, subsection,subdivision, paragraph,sentence,clause or phrase

of this ordinance irrespective of the invalidity of any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase.


This ordinance is consistent with the Orinda General Plan.


This ordinance will not have a significant impact on the environment as defined by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The proposed code amendments are exempt from CEQA under Public Resources Code §21080.17, as they implement the provisions of Government Code §65852.2.


This ordinance becomes effective thirty (30) days after adoption.


The City Clerk shall either (a) have this ordinance published once within fifteen (15) days after adoption in a newspaper of general circulation, or (b) have a summary of this

ordinance published twice in a newspaper of general circulation, once five (5) days before its adoption and again within fifteen (15) days after adoption.

Following a dulynoticed public hearing, the foregoing ordinance was introduced at a regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Orinda held on February 20, 2018 and was adopted and ordered published at a regular meeting held on March 6, 2018 by the following vote:







17.3.4 Accessoty Dwelling Units (ADUsl

A.Purpose. The purpose of this section is to comply with state law regarding accessory dwelling units CADUsl (Califemia Govemment Code Section 65852.2) alif ia Government Code Section 65852.21.

    1. Limited Review (Ministerial).

      1. Category One Assessery DwelllRg UnitADU No New Fk>orArea. Anya66essory that is wholly contained within the existing spaceof a single-family

dwelling or accessory structure shall meet the following development standards and use restrictions:

        1. The unit is located in an RVL-E, RVL, RL-40, RL’ ‘Rl15, RL-12,RL10,.

GI= RL-6. or PD zoning district.

        1. Only one (1) aeeessery Eh.velliRg 1:1A is pennitted per lot.

        2. The assessory S’#elling 1:1nhas exterior access independent from the existing residence.

        3. The existing single-family resiEleRsedwelling or accessory structure has side and rear setbacks sufficient for fire safety. If the existing residence or

structure complies with the Citys setback requirements as described in Chapter 17.4, it shallautomatically meet this standard.No setback shall be

required for an existing garage that js conyerted to an AQU.

e.The a66essery eNelling wnnat2Ucomplies with applicable building codes and health and safety regulations; however, the aeeesser:yElwelliRg l:IRitfd2Y Is not required to provide fire sprinklersif fire sprinklers are not required for the pFiFRary FE>sisensesinglefamily dwelling.

f. The singlefamily dwelling or accessory structure was constructed In compliancewith allthen-applicable City requirements orwasinexistence on January 1, 2017.

  1. Category Two /\e6e&S91) Qv:elliRg UnitAQU New Floor Area. Any .A.6686691′)’

that involves the addition of square footage to an existing singl family dwelling or accessory structure or js proposed in con!ynction wjth a new singlefamjlv dwelling shall meet the following development standards and use restrictions:

    1. The is located in an RVL-E, RVL, RL-40, RL20, RL-15, RL-12, RL-10, RL-6…ft2. or RM zoning district.

    2. The lot on which the asoe669Pf Elwelling l:IAitaru.!is located contains an existing;or proposed single-family dwelling.

    3. Only one(1) a66essei:y dv:elliRg Ynit is peitted on a let.The lot on which

the ADU js located does not contain another ADU.

  1. The asoossory dwelling unil6C,U meets all other applicable requirements of this code that do not involve discretionary review of tho f>FOposeEt use

including, but not limited to, building height, setback, water channel setback, tree removal, ridgeline and environmental preservation overlay, payment of applicable fees, and building code requirements; however:

    1. To the extent required by California Government Code Section 65852.2, no passageway is required in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unitADU.

    2. The side anEt rear sotbaok requirements for an aooessOPJ dwelling unit that is oonstn.mted at>ove an e>Eisting pri1ate garage is fi\fe (5)

If the prooosed APU is an addition to an existing prjyate garage:

      1. No setback shall be required for any oortion of the existing

·.garage that js converted to the ADU: and

B. Standard setbacks shall apply to the new floor area. unless the ADU is constructed above the existing private garaae, jn which case the side and rear setbacks for the ADU shall not be l ess than five (5) feet.

    1. The accessory dNelling 1:1nitADU is not required to provide fire sprinklers if fire sprinklers are not required for the primary residenoesinqle-family dwelling.

  1. The accessory dwelling unit is not intended for saleThe ADU may be rented. but it shall not be sold or otherwise conveyecl separate from the primary r:esidenoe (r-entalis allowed)single-family dwemng.

  1. The aooessory dwelling unis eitherattached to <includingthe existing d·Nelling unit or partiallyleoated within the living area of the S*isting Et1Nelling

or detached from the prooosed or existing single-family dwelling and located on the same lot as the prooosed or existing single-famj!y dwelling.

  1. Maximum size.

    1. The aocessoF} Etwelling l:lnitAn attached ADU shall meet all of the following requirements:

      1. For an attached aooessory dwelling 1:mit, thel,W! floor area shall not exceed fifty (50) percent of the existing or proposed single-family dwelling living area, with a maximum Increase in floor area of one thousand two hundred (1,200) adjusted square feet: and

    1. Compliance with the floor area reauirements jn Section 17.6.2 and any other applicable maximum size regujrements (e.g.. requirements in any applicable deyelopment agreementl.

!L,.B. For a 6detached asoessory dwelling 1:1nit, theADU shall meet all of the following requirements:

      1. The floor area shall not exceed one;thousand two;;hundred (1,200) adjusted square feet.

LG:-Compliance with the floor area requirements in Section

      1. and any other applicable maximum sjze regyjremen (e.g.. requirements in any applicable development agreement>.

ii . For determining compliance with this Subseclon,-tAe floor are tt:le assessory el..e!ling 1::1nit shall be calculated pursuant to Section

      1. and Section 17.6,4.
  1. Parking.
    1. One (1) allweather surface, off-street parking space measuring at least nine (9) feet by nineteen (19) feet shall be provided for the per bedroeR!I iRslYeed iR the aGsessory c:twelliRg YRit, 1:;1p te a

maJEimym 9f twe (2) spaees.

iLThe required parking space(&) GaADJaX be located as,.,1 tandem space(&) inan existingdriveway or in.lb.i,required setbacks.Tandem pa£kingmeans that two <2> or more automobjles are partsed on a

driveway or in any otber location on a lot. lined up behjnd ope another. See SestieA 17.16.2ferfasteFS used l:Jy ti:le Ci yte detem:line \‘lf:tetAer a room is a heeroom fer pur:peses ef tt:lis syeeestien.

  1. .The above parking requirements shall not apply:
    1. To an aeeessory 9\velllng l:IAit6Q,Y that is located within on half (0.5) mile of public transit,defined as an existing BART or public bus stop;

B. To an aGeessol)·ewelllA!iJ b1RilA!2U, that is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district;

C.When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the assesseFy dwelliAg 1:1ni ;or

D. To an aseessoFy EWi.elllRg YAi that is located within one

(1) block of the designated pickup or drop-offlocation of a car­ share vehicle, where such vehicle is owned by a carsharing company.

i.Any skirt wall developedinconjunction with anaeeessoryd\wlliAg t:1n

Is less than six (6) feet in height.

  1. Within one-;hundred::WJSi;twenty (120) days of receipt of a complete application, the Planning Director shall ministerially process for approval any application for a building permit for a Category One or Categorv Two aesessory d..1elliRfJ l:lnit 8,l2U that meets all the criteriain this Section.

    1. Combinatjon Proposals.
      1. :.4.When a CategoFy 0Re or Twe aseessory dwelling unltan AQUis proposed in conjunction with anetRer 1;1se or struetblre, tt:te City sl=tall siRudtaneol:lsly and

separately process:(a) the aooessory dwelling l:IRit applioation in aoooFdanoe with this Seotion, independently ef the other use or struoture; and (9) the other use or stn.ioture in aocoFdance Nith tJ:lis Code, independently of tl=le aooessory dwelling unit. but it can be constructed independent of. another proposal for which Cjty approval is required under this Code (e.g..new garage. new single family residence. substantial addition to an existiPa residence>. the following options apoly:

        1. The applicant may elect to haye the City process the ADU separate from and concurrently with the other proposal<sl. If the applicant malses this election.the streamlining described jn this Section would apply to the ADU

and the City’s otherwise applicable reaulations wguld apply to the other proposallsl. Because ADUs are processed in a streamlined fashion by virtue of their construction on a lot with a pdmary residential unit occupancv of a

new ADU will be legal only if a orimarv residential unjtis oresent onthe same


        1. The applicant may elect to submit the ARY and other prooosallsl for

combined review by the Cjty. If the applicant makes this electjon. he or she yoluntarily foregoes the regulations described jn this Section and the City’s otherwise aoplicable regulations apply.

  1. When an ADU is proposed Ip conjunctjon withand jt cannot be constructed independent ofanother proposal for wbjcb City approval is regujred under thjs Code (e.g.. new garage. new sjngle family residence. substantial addition to an existing residence). the following options apply:

    1. The applicant may elect to have the City process the AQU separate from the other proposal(s). If the applicant makes this election. the streamlining described inthis Sectjon would apply to the ADU proposal after theapplicant obtains Cjty approval for the other proposallsl on which ADU construction depends. Because ADUs are processed ina streamUned fashion by virtue Qf theirconstruction on a lot wjth a primary residential unit. occupancy of a new ADU will be legal only jf a orimary residential unit is present on the same lot.

    2. The applicant may elect to submit the ADU and other proposallsl for combined review by the City. If the apolicant makes this election.he or she yoluntarily foregoesthe regulations described in this Section and the Cjtys otherwise applicable regylatjons apply.This sul:>seotion shall not apply if tho accessory dwelling unit is dependent on the other use or struotur:e (for instance, if an aooessory dwelling 1:1nit is proposed ontop 9f a neNgarage for whioh discretionary review is required). In that instance, the acoessory dwelling unit shall ee processed in accordance vlith this Seotion subseq1.1ent to approval of the other use or structure.

  1. Full Review (Discretionary).
    1. Category Three Ascessory D»velling Unit. Any acsessory dl1elling 1:1nit proposed in oonjunction Nith a new single farnily dNelling on a vaoant lot shall meet the follo..1ing requirements:

      1. Design review approval pursuant to Chapter 17.30.

b.The 1:1nit isloeatedinan RVb E, RVb, Rb 40, Rb 2Q, Rb 15, Rl 12, Rb 10,

or Rb 6 z.onlng ElistFiot.

e.Only one (1) aGGessery ElNelllng 1:1nit is pefff’litteEI on a let.

d. The 866essory dwelling Ynit Aleets all other appliGable req1:1iremeRts of this

  1. The aooessery d1t:elliAg uAit is not intendee for sale ser:>arate Wffl U1e

priAlary resieenee ane Alay be rentea.

  1. MaMim1:1m size.
    1. The ftoor area of the aeeessery dv:elllng 1:1nlt el:lall net eMeeeEt one thousand twe huRElreEI (1,200) sq1:1are feet, pFeviEleEI U:lat the aooessory dwelling 1:1nit ml:Jst be inel1:i1eed in deteFFFliAing the single family r.esidenoee GORlplianGe 11Jiti:l the fleer aFea ret;t1:1irement& in Seotien 17.6.2 and any ether applisable AlHimYm size req1;1iremeAts (e.g., req1:1irernents in any applieable development agreemeAt).
  2. For detefff’lining Gemplianse vAth this sYtaseotion, the fleer area of the aGeessory Elv.telling 1:1nit shall be salGulated p1:1F6Y9nt to Seotion


  1. Parking.
    1. One (1) all “18ather s1:1rfaoe, off street parking space meas1:1Fing at least nine (9) feet hy nineteen (19) feet shall ee pFevided per bedFeom inel1:1ded In the aGeessery Ehvelling unit, up te a AlaMiFRl:IAl of two (2) spases.See Seotion 17.16.2 for fasteFS used by tl=le City to deteFFRine whether a room is a bedroom foF p1::1rposes of this subseotion.

JJ..2-:Non Compliant Proposals. If the requirements for a Category One orcateaorv TWD-ef Three Aseessory DwelliRg Unit awl.above, are not met,the proposed aooeeserye telliAg

cannot be approved under this Section.Notwithstandingtheforegoing,applicants may seek approval of the unit, addition, or renovation under the City’s generally-applicable standards and procedures.

D.Converted Parking. When a private garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished or converted in conjunction with the construction of an aeee660ry dwelling

.the spaces FRY&tcootainecl In sucb structyres shall be replaced if &Yeh &JJaeesm the extent thev are required YRc:ier tl:lis titleto meet the numerical padsing requirements in Section 17.16.2.The replacement spaces may be located in configurationonthe same lot as the aooessory dJ.telling YA, including, but not limited to, 60\‘ereeenclosed spaces, l:lneoveredunenclosed spaces, or tandem spaces, or by the use of mechanical automobile parking lifts. Compliance with thissubsection may result inthe loss of covered parkingassociated with a single-family resideAsedwelling, for whichan exception shall not be required.

xisting Accessory Dwelling Unit.An existing aoeessory dwelliAg YRlmay be enlarged or modified only in accordance with the requirements of this action.

G. Density. To the extent required by California Government Code Section 65852.2, an accessory dwelling unitADU built in conformance with this Ssection does not count toward the allowed density for the lot upon which the acoessol) d\\‘elling uni is located.

H. General Plan and Zoning Designations. .\ccessory dwelliAg unitADUs are a residential use that is consistent with the existing general plan and zoning designationsfor tAe-lots located in the RVL-E. RVL. RL-40. RL-20. RL-15. RL12. RL-10. RL-6. PD. or RM zoning districts.

17.2.3 Definitions

EJdstfng primary ro&lGleRse FReans a siRgle faFRily Fesidense eKistin§ ontl=te let 9efei:e tl=te second unit is oonstruoted.

17.4.22 Accessory structures

A. Garages, accessory dwelling units proposed in new accessory structures, and additions lQ..existing accessory structures enlarged to accommodate new accessory dwelling units shall conform to the standard minimum setback requirements of the underlying zone as described in Section 17.4.2 and 17.4.3. subject to the exceptions in Section 17.3.4.