Saint Helena ADU / Granny Flat Ordinance



The City Council of the City of the City of St. Helena does hereby ordain as follows:

SECTION 1. Fi ndi ngs. ln adopting the Ordinance, the City Council finds:

A. The proposed amendments are consistent with the General Plan in that they will encourage infill development within currently developed areas (policy 2.6.4), encourage a mix of housing types and price ranges (policy 2.6.14), encourage development that is consistent with scale and character of older neighborhoods (policy 2.6.15) and encourage the development of affordable housing and remove development constraints (HE pol icy 1 .3) amongst others.

B. The proposed amendments wou ld further the public necessity, convenien ce, and general welfare of St. Helena Residents by promoting opportunities to introduce a greater nu.mber of housing unit s and improve the affordabi lity of housing within the City of St. Helena while at the same time imposing performance standards to regulate Accessory Dwellin g Uni ts in accordance with State Law.

SECTION 2. A mendment. SHMC Chapter 17.04 General Provisions and Defini tions” i s hereby amended by replaci ng the definition for Accessory dwelling unit” with the California State definition promu lgated by Section 65852.2 of the California Government Code and deleting the definition of Second Unit in subsect ion 17.04.l60(B) Definitions.”

SECTION 3. Amendment. SHMC Chapter 17.20 Twent y-Acre Agriculture District•· is hereby amended by deleting the reference to Second unit in subsubsection 17.20.020(D) Permitted uses” and replacing it with “Accessory Dwell i ng Unit.

SECTION 4. Amendment. SHMC Chapler 17.32 Low Density Residential District is hereby amended by deleting the reference to Second unit in subsection 17.32.020(G) Permitted uses’ and replacing it with Accessory dwelling unit.

SECTION 5. Amendment. SHMC Chapter 17.36 Low Density Residential One-Acre Mini mum District is hereby amended by deleting the reference to Second uni t in subsection

17.36.020 Permitted uses” and replacing it with “Accessory Dwelling unit.

SECTION 6. Amendment. SHMC Chapter 17.40 Mediu m Density Residential District is hereby amended by deleting the reference to Second unit in subsections l 7.40.020(G) Permitted uses,” Section 17.40.040 Design Review Required,” Section

17.40.060 (E)(3) Developm ent Standards,” and Section 17.40.070(B) Other uses, standard s, and requ irements,” and replacing it with Accessory dwelling unit.

SECTION 7. Am endm ent. SHMC Chapter 17.44 High Density Residential District” is hereby amended by deleting the reference to Second unit in subsections 17.44.020 (H) Permitted uses,” Section 17.44.040 Design Review Required,” subsection 17.44.060 (C)(3) Development Standards,” and subsection 17.44.070(B) Other uses, standard s, and requirements,” and replacing it with “Accessory dwelling unit.

SECTION 8. Am endment. SHMC Chapter 17.64 Woodland and Watershed (WW) District is hereby amended by delet i ng the reference Second uni t in subsections 17.64.020(C), Permitted uses,” subsection 17.64.030 (B) Conditional uses,” and Section 17.64.040 Design review required, and replacing i t with Accessory dwelling unit.

SECTION 9. Am en dment. SHMC Chapter 17.116 Accessory Buildin gs, Structures, Dwellings and Uses,” is hereby amended by repealing Section 17.1 16.030 Accessory dwellings” in its enti rety and by replacing i t with the revised language as set forth below.

17.116.030 Accessory dwellings units.

  1. An accessory dwelling unit shall meet the design and development criteria described below:

I . Accessory dwelling units are allowed in any zoning district that allows residential uses insofar as there i. an cxi ting single-fami l y reidence on the lot:

  1. Each acccsory dwell ing unit shall meet t he requiremen ts for bu ild ing height. setback!-., yards and lot coverage for pri nci pal bu i ld i ngs of t he zoning d istri ct i n which i t is located, except that a detached accessory dwell ing u n i t may exhibit a mini mu m side yard and rear yard sethack of ri ve feet. However, detached ADUs, not meeti ng t he setback requ iremen t:­ of the p1imary dwelling, are limited to a maxi mum height of 15-feet. u n less bu i lt above an existing garage or result from the conversion of an exist ing struclure which is taller than

1 5-feet in height.

  1. The design of the accessory dwelling unit shall employ a design compatible with the pri ncipal dwelling and shall be consistent with the pri ncipal dwelling in terms of form, massing, scale, and level of articulation .
  1. Any window or door on a 2nd story shal l be located and designed uti l izing techniq ues that lessen t he i mpact<; on the privacy of adjacen t properties. The’ie techniques may include use of ob cured gla1ing, window placement above eye level, windows and doors located toward the exist ing on-site residence or screening t reatments:
  1. Accessory dwelling u nits are requi red to follow the same build ing and safety requirements as the pri ncipal dwelling.
  1. Accessory dwelling units are requi red to provide fire sprinklers only insofar as they are required for the principal dwelling.
  1. There shall be a minimum five (5) foot separation between a detached accessory dwelling and any adjacent structure or bu ild ing.
  1. No passageway shall be required in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit.
  1. The introduction of an accessory dwelling unit shall be subject to review and approval by the local health officer where a pri vate sewage disposal system is proposed.
  1. Accessory dwelling units located on property listed on the City of St. Helena Historic Resources Master List and/or the California Register of Historic Resources (CRHR) and/or National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) shall exhibit compliance with the Secretary of the Interior ‘s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties for Rehabilitation and shall further be subject to the standards enumerated in Municipal Code Chapter 17.92, if applicable. At the determination of the Plan ning Director, any applicat ion for an accessory dwelling unit located on a property listed in the City of St. Helena H istoric Resources Master List , identified as potentially eligible for listing or previou sly l isted in the CRHR

or NRHP (except for those contained entirely withi n an existing structure) may be req u ired to provide a Historic Resource Evaluation and/or Consistency Analysis prepared by a qualified architectu ral historian to determine compliance with applicable standards.

  1. In addition to the standard. noted in subsect ion A of this section, accessory dwelling unit:-. shall also conform to the fol lowing design and development standards:

I . The floor area of an attached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 50 percent of the existing Jiving area up to a maximum of 1200 square feet. The total floor area of a detached accessory dwelling shall not exceed 1200 square feet. The property owner shall occupy either the pri ncipal dwelling or the second unit ;

  1. The accessory dwelling unit shall not be sold separate from the principal dwelling and shall not be rented , leased or let for periods of time less than thirty (30) days;
  1. There shall be no more than one accessory dwelling unit per lot;

  1. An accessory dwelling unit is exempt from the density limits of this t i tle and the General Plan ;
  2. An attached accessory dwelling unit shall have independent exterior access from the existing residence with direct access from the front or side setback area.
  3. No setback shall be req uired for an existing garage that is converted to an accessory dwelling unit and a setback of no more than five feet from the side and rear lot lines shall be required for an accessory dwelling unit that is constructed above a garage.
  1. Accessory dwel.ling uni ts completely contained within an existing footprint are not considered new residential uses for the purpose of calculati ng local agency connection fees or capacity charges for ut ilities including water and sewer service, and therefore are not subject to such fees.
  1. The City may requ ire a new or separate ut i lity connection directly between the accessory

dwelling unit and the utili ty for separate detached structures constructed a , or converted into, an A DU. The connection may be subject to a connection fee or capacity charge that shall be

proporti onate to the burd en of the proposed accessory dwelling unit, based upon either its size or lhe nu mber of its pl umbi ng fixtures, upon the water or sewer system . This fee or charge shall not exceed the reasonable cost of providing this service.

  1. 1n addition to the required parking for the pr.i mary residence, one parking space, covered or uncovered, shall be provided on site for each accessory dwelling, with the exception that no parking shall be required for a new accessory dwelling in the following instances:

    1. The accessory dwelling uni t is located withi n Vi mile of public transit
    2. The accessory dwelling unit is located withi n a historic district
    3. The accessory dwelling unit is part of the existing principal residence or an existing accessory structure
    4. When on street parking permits are required, but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
    5. When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling and that is available for use by the occupant(s) of said dwelling.
  1. Off-street parking shall be permi tted through tandem parking or in setback areas, unless it is determined that parking in setback areas or tandem parking is not feasible based upon specific site or regional, topographical, or fire and life safety conditions.
  1. When a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit, those off street parki ng spaces shall be replaced. The replacement spaces may be located in any configuration on the same lot as the accessory dwelling unit including but not limited to, as covered spaces, u ncovered spaces, or tandem spaces, or by the use of mechanical automobile parking lifts

C. Notwithstanding the provisions of tbis subsection, one accessory dwelling unit per property shall be ministerially approved if all of the following apply:

l. The unit is located in a zoning district which allows residential uses,

  1. It is contained within the existing space of a single-family residence or existing accessory structure, and
  1. lt has independent exterior access, and
  1. The side and rear setbacks are sufficient for fire safety.
  1. Accessory dwelling units shall be ministerially approved or disapproved in compliance with this Section and within l 20 days of application. The Planning Director shall issue a building permit or zoning certificate to establish an accessory dwelling unit in compliance with this section if all applicable requirements are met.
  1. Accessory buildings or structures which do not meet the definition of an ADU may not be rented or leased as a separate unit.

SECTION 10. Amendment. SHMC Chapter l7. l 64 Design Review” is hereby amended to exclude “accessory dwelling units from Design Review pursuant to subsection 17.164.050(F) Applicability” and shall be revised to add 3. An accessory dwelling unit that meets the requirements of Section 17.116.030″

SECTION 11. Compliance with CEQA. The City Council hereby finds that the action to adopt this Ordinance to amend Title 17 of the St. Helena Municipal Code is statutorily exempt pursuant to CEQA Section 15282(h) which exempts the adoption of an ordinance regarding second units (Accessory Dwelling Units) in a single-famil y or multifamily residential zone by a city or county to implement the provisions of Sections 65852.1 and 65852.2 of the Government Code as set forth in Section 21080.17 of the Public Resources Code. Similarly, the proposed Ordinance is exempt pursuant to the General Rule in CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3) which specifies that CEQA applies only to a project with the potential to cause a significant impact to the environment.

SECTION 12. Severability. The City Council hereby declares every section, paragraph, sentence, cause and phrase is severable. If any section, paragraph , sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is for any reason found to be in valid or unconstitutional, such invalidity, or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases.

SECTION 13. Effective Date. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days after its adoption, and a summary of this ordinance shall be published once with the names of the members of the Council voting for and against the ordinance in the St. Helena Star, a newspaper of general circulation published in the city of St. Helena.

SECTION 14. Amendment Declarative Of Existing Law. The City Council finds that the amendment of Title l7 by this ordinance with respect to the imposition of civil penalties, and the right of the City to seek and obtain civil penalties by civil action, is intended to be declarative of existing law.

THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was introduced at a regular meeting of the St. Helena City Council on the 13th day of June 2017, and was adopted at a regular meeting of the St. Helena City Council on the 27th day of June, 2017, by the following vote:

Mayor Galbraith: Yes

Vice Mayor White: Yes

Councilmember Dohring: Yes Councilmember Koberstein: Yes Councilmember Ellsworth: Yes


Alan d’1braith,MaYOf



I, CINDY BLACK, CITY CLERK of the City of St. Helena, California, do hereby certif y that the foregoing Ordinance was regularly introduced and placed upon its first reading at a regular meeting of the City Council on the 13the day of June, 20 17. That thereafter said Ordinance was duly adopted and passed at a regular meeting of the City Council on the 27the day of June, 2017 by the following vote:

Mayor Galbraith: Yes

Vice Mayor White: Yes

Councilmember Dohring: Yes Councilmember Koberstein: Yes Councilmember Ellsworth: Yes

http:// http://

www.codepublishi StHelena/#!/StHelena17/

http://!/ StHelena17/StHelena1704.html#17.04.050 http://!/ StHelena17/StHelena1704.html#17.04.070!/ StHelena17/StHelena1704.html#17.04.080 StHelena/#!/StHelena17/!/StHelena17/ StHelena1704.html#17.04.100 CA/StHelena/#!/StHelena17/

http:// CA/StHelena/#!/StHelena17/!/ StHelena17/StHelena1704.html#17.04.140 CA/StHelena/#!/StHelena17/

http:// www.codepublishing.


The purpose of this title, the zoning ordinance, is to:

  1. Protect and promote the public health, safety, morals, peace, prosperity and general welfare;
  1. Encourage orderly, compatible and beneficial uses of land;
  1. Minimize conflicts which might result from incompatible and inappropriate land uses;
  1. Maintain and enhance the desirable character of the city and its various neighborhoods and areas;
  1. Lessen congestion on streets;
  1. Prevent and lessen the human and property loss resulting from fires;
  1. Facilitate the provision of adequate community facilities such as schools, parks, streets, fire protection and other public requirements;
  1. Provide open space for light and air;
  1. Protect agricultural soils, vegetation, wildlife and other natural resources from incompatible and deleterious activities;
  1. Preserve, protect and enhance the environment of the city;
  1. Provide for a variety of housing types and housing opportunities; and
  1. Otherwise promote the general community welfare in accord with the general plan of the city. (Prior code § 27.2)

17.04.030 Nature of the zoning ordinance.

The zoning ordinance of the city consists of a map depicting the various districts and a set of regulations controlling uses, locations, height, bulk, open spaces, appearance of certain buildings and structures, dimensions of lots, densities of certain developments, on-site parking, conservation and utilization of natural resources, protection of environmental resources, together with procedures for these regulations. (Prior code § 27.3)

17.04.040 Compliance generally.

  1. Except as otherwise provided by this title, no use shall be commenced on or in any land, building, or premises unless the use is either a permitted or conditional use for the zoning district in which the use is to be located and, if listed as a conditional use, unless the required use permit has been received. No use

shall be commenced or maintained except in accordance with the regulations for the zoning district in which the use is or will be located and the use is in conformance with the conditions, mitigation measures, and project description of each required permit, approval, clearance or agreement.

  1. No building or structure shall be erected, remodeled, enlarged, rebuilt, or moved, except in

conformity with the regulations for the zoning district in which the building or structure is or will be located, and in conformity with the conditions, mitigation measures and project description of each required

permit, approval, clearance or agreement.

  1. Where conflict occurs between the regulations of this title and the building code or other regulations effective within the city, the more restrictive regulation shall apply except in areas of building and site design where the design review provisions shall apply.
  1. Except as otherwise authorized by the city council, the city shall not process any application for a permit, approval or clearance that is sought pursuant to this title (including, without limitation, a use permit, variance, zoning amendment, or general plan amendment) for any property found in violation of this title until the violation is corrected. (Prior code § 27.455)

17.04.050 Permits, approvals and licenses to conform to code.

  1. All departments , officials and public employees of the city vested with the duty or authority to issue permits, approvals, clearances , or licenses shall conform to the provisions of this code and shall issue no such permit, approval, clearance, or license for uses, buildings, or any purposes where the same would be in conflict with the provisions of this code. Such permit, approval, clearance, or license, if issued in conflict with the provisions of this code, shall be null and void.
  1. Except as otherwise authorized by the city council, the city shall refuse to issue any permit, approval, or clearance that is sought pursuant to this title, including zoning clearance for a building permit or a

home occupation permit where the existing or proposed use, building or structure has been found to be in violation of this code. (Prior code § 27.456)

17.04.060 Interpretation.

No matter how carefully constructed, the zoning ordinance will require interpretation in its day-to-day administration. In adopting the zoning ordinance it is the intent of the city to interpret and administer the zoning ordinance in a reasonable fashion consistent with the public interest of the residents of the city. In their interpretation and application, the provisions of this title shall be held to be the minimum requirements guided by the following: