Vista ADU / Granny Flat Ordinance



The City Councilof the City of Vista does ordain as follows:

  1. Findings. The City Council hereby finds and declares that:
    1. The City Council wishes to amend Titles 17 and 18 of the Development Code to update various grading and zoning regulations.
    1. The Development Code amendments include clarification for city staff, text corrections, modifications required by recently enacted State legislation, and maintenance of appropriate regulatory controls.
    1. The Development Code amendments are exempt from further review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in accordance with CEQA Guidelines, Sections 15304 (Minor Alterations to Land), 15305 (Minor Alterations in Land Use Limitations), and 15311 (Accessory Structures) .
    1. Code Amendment
    1. The definition of minor grading in Section 17.56.040 of the Development Code is amended to replace the words and numerals in the first sentence which read 500 cubic yards” with the words and numerals “50 cubic yards .

8. Section 17.56.060 of the Development Code, “Permit Requirements,is amended so that the last sentence of the first paragraph reads as follows: Note: the excepted activities herein require implementation of stormwater management

controls as specified in Chapter 13.18 of the Municipal Code.”

  1. The following words shall be added to the end of paragraphs A 1 and

A.2 of Section 18.02.045 of the Development Code, Accessory Building{s): unless the City Planner approves a greater floor area limit for buildings that are permitted by right within the applicable zone, are not habitable, and are consistent with the General Plan.

  1. Section 18.02.490 of the Vista Development Code, “Open Space, Common Usable, is amended to read as follows:

“”Common usable open space” means recreational land areas within a multiple-dwelling unit project, including PRDs (planned residential

“Repurposed Existing Space” means existing space within the primary residence (e.g., master bedroom) has been converted into an independent living unit, or a second unit.

“Existing space” for the purpose of defining an allowable space that can be converted to a second unit means within the four walls and roofline of any legally permitted structure existing on or after January 1, 2017, that can be made safely habitable under local building codes at the

determination of the Building Official regardless of any noncompliance with zoning standards.”

Section 18.31.020 Zones

An attached or detached second unit is permitted in the following zones: R-1, E-1, A-1 and 0-R zone. A second unit located within repurposed existing space is permitted on any lot in a zone that allows single-family residences by right.

Section 18.31.030 Requirements for a Second Unit

A second unit shall be permitted provided all of the following standards are met:

    1. There must be no more than one existing single-

family dwelling on the lot for which an application under this chapter is submitted.

8- No zoning or building code violation exists on the lot which the second unit is to be located.

  1. The utility service for the second unit must be serviced through the existing single-family residence service.
  2. The second unit is not intended for sale separate from the primary residence and may be rented.
  3. The second unit is located on the same lot as the existing residence.
  4. Local building code requirements shall apply to the second unit, as appropriate.
  5. Second units shall not be required to provide fire

sprinklers if they are not required for the primary residence, and may employ alternative methods for fire protection.

  1. The two units must share the same address. The owner may request the City Planner to differentiate the units by assigning additional numeric or alphabetical designations.
  2. The two units may be constructed simultaneously, provided that all requirements of this chapter are satisfied.”

H. Section 18.31.050 of the Development Code, “Development

single-family residences shall apply.

  1. Section 18.31.100 of the Development Code, “Inspection Authority,” is hereby repealed.
  1. Chapter 18.35 of the Development Code, “M-U Mixed Use Zone, shall be modified in the manner described below:
    1. Section 18.35.030, Permitted Uses,” is amended to include “single-family dwellings” in the tist of permitted uses, and shall be renumbered accordingly.
    1. Section 18.35.050, “Minor Uses,” is amended to delete paragraph 7, “remodel or increase in square footage of single-family residential unit, existing as of the date of this ordinance.”
  1. Chapter 18.38, “C-1 Commercial Zone,” Section 18.38.060, “Development Standards, paragraph B, “Permitted Building Height,” is amended to replace the phrase “a height of 35 feet” with the phrase “a height of two stories or 35 feet, whichever is less.”

0. Chapter 18.52, “Signs on Private Property,” is amended to replace the map of “Freeway-Oriented Districts for Pole Signs, included as Exhibit A to Chapter 18.52 with a new map which adds Assessor’s Parcel Numbers 164-260- 21, 164-260-44, 164-290-47, 164-290-48, 164-290-49, 164-290-50, and 164-290- 51, and is in the form of Attachment A to this Ordinance.

  1. Chapter 18.54, aOff Street Parking and Loading Requirements,” Section 18.54.120.A.1.b is amended to read as follows:

“b. The parking space envelope shall not be less than nine (9) feet by nineteen

(19) feet in size. Open parking spaces shall be marked using two 5 inch strips separated by 8 inches, for a total width of 18 inches, and joined by a semi-circular arc at the incoming end so as to form an elongated “U” with all markings to be continuous, as depicted in Figure 18.54.120.A.”

  1. Section 18.58.480, “Home Occupations,” is amended so that the first sentence of this section is to read as follows:

“No occupation, as defined by Section 18.02.335, shall be conducted in any residential, mixed-use, estate, agricultural, or open space zoning district, except as may be permitted by a duly issued home occupation permit.”

  1. Adoption. INTRODUCED AND ADOPTED at a meeting of the City Councilheld on October 24, 2017 by the following vote:

AYES: Mayor Ritter, Aguilera, Rigby, Franklin, Green

NOES: None





Darold Pieper, City Attorney


Kathy Valdez, City Clerk


Jonathan B Stone

1124 100417

By: u.<.o..


Exhibit A: Map No. 4 of “Freeway-Oriented Districts for Pole Signs in Chapter 18.52


I, Kathy Valdez, City Clerk of the City of Vista, California, certify that I caused the foregoing Ordinance No. 2017-17 to be posted on October 25, 2017, at the following locations within the City of Vista: 1) the Reference Desk of the Vista Branch of the San Diego County Public Library, 700 Eucalyptus Avenue; 2) the Lobby Counter at the Gloria E. McClellan Senior Center, 1400 Vale Terrace Drive ; and 3) the City Clerks Office, 200 Civic Center Drive.

Kathy Valdez, City Clerk J

Chapter 18.31 Second Unit Requirements


18.31.010 18.31.020 18.31.030 18.31.040 18.31.050 18.31.060 18.31.070 18.31.080 18.31.090 18.31.100

Permitted Use Zones

Requirements for a Second Unit Size

Development Standards Height Regulation Parking

Architectural Style

Fees, Exactions Requirements Inspection Authority

Section 18.31.010 Permitted Use

A second unit, as defined by California Government Code Section 65852.2 is permitted on a lot zoned for single family use provided an administrative approval by the City Planner is obtained in accordance with this chapter. Applications shall be submitted using a form prepared by the City Planner with an application and processing fee set by a City Councilresolution.

(Ord. No. 93-2, Enacted, 02/23/93; Ord. No. 94-20, Amended, 12/13/94; Ord. No. 2003-15, Amended, 05/27/03)

Section 18.31.020 Zones

A second unit is permitted in the following zones: R-1, E1,A-1 and 0-R zone.

(Ord. No. 93-2, Enacted, 02/23/93; Ord. No. 94-20, Amended, 12/13/94; Ord. No. 2003-15, Amended, 05/27/03)

Section 18.31.030 Requirements for a Second Unit

A second unit shall be permitted provided all of the following conditions are met:

    1. There must be no more than one existing single-family dwelling on the lot for which an application under this chapter is submitted.

  1. No zoning code or building code violation exists on the lot on which the second unit is to be located.

  2. A regulatory agreement or covenant must be recorded enforcing the conditions of the administrative approval.

D. The utility service for the proposed second unit must be serviced through the existing single family dwelling service.

E. The unit is not intended for sale and may be rented.

F. The second unit is either attached to the existing dwelling and located within the living area of the existing dwelling, or detached from the existing dwelling and located on the same lot as the existing dwelling.

G. Construction of the unit complies with the applicable local building code requirements for detached dwellings, as appropriate. Construction shall conform to site plan

review, fees, charges and any other zoning requirements generally applicable to residential construction in the zone in which the property is located.

Section 18.31.080 Architectural Style

The second unit must be of the same type, style and material as the existing primary structure.

(Ord.No.93-2. Enacted, 02/23/93 :Ord. No. 94-20, Amended , 12113/94; Ord. No.2003-15, Amended, 05/27/03)

Section 18.31.090 Fees, Exactions Requirements

For the purpose of the assessment of all fees and exactions consistent with the Vista Development and Municipal Codes, construction of a second unit shall be considered separate from that of the existing single-family dwelling on the lot,and the payment of fees and exactions for such second unit shall be in addition to those which may have been paid for the existing single-family dwelling. The City Council may, by policy, provide for fee modifications, waivers , or deferments.

{Ord. No. 93-2, Enacted, 02123193; Ord. No. 94-20, Amended, 12/13/94; Ord. No. 2003-15, Amended , 05/27/03)

Section 18.31.100 Inspection Authority

An administrative approval for second units granted pursuant to this chapter shall be conditioned upon: (a) compliance with all applicable City codes. ordinances. resolutions, and all conditions imposed in granting the administrative approval, and (b) agreement of the applicant to allow inspections of the site to establish and verify continuing compliance with this section. (Ord.No. 93-2, Enacted, 02/23/93; Ord. No. 94-20, Amended, 12/13/94; Ord. No.2003-15, Amended , 05/27/03)

Housing Policy Departmen• Received on·

NOV 6 2017

November 1, 2017

Greg Nickless

California Department of Housing and Community Development 2020 W. El Camino Ave.

Sacramento, CA 95833

Subject: City of Vista,Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance

Dear Mr. Nickless,

Please find enclosed the City of Vista’s zoning code for second units (ADUs), as well as Ordinance No. 2017-17 , modifying the zoning code in accordance with recent changes in state law. This information is provided in accordance with Government Code section 65852.2(h) for HCD’s review.

Any comments related to Vistas ADU code amendment should be sent to my attention at 200 Civic Center Drive, Vista, CA, 92084. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at (760) 643-5388.



Director of Community Development & Engineering