Winters ADU / Granny Flat Ordinance





The City Council of the City of Winters, State of California, does hereby ordain as follows :

  1. Purpose. The purpose of this ordinance is to amend various section of the text in the Winters Municipal Code (the Municipal Code) necessary to regulate Accessory Dwelling Units (formerly known as Second Residential Units).

  1. Authority. The City of Winters has authority to adopt this ordinance pursuant to the general police power granted to cities by Article 11, Section 7 of the California Constitution.
  1. Amendments to Title 17. The City hereby makes the following amendments to Title 17 of the Municipal Code:

    1. Subdivision (8) of Section 17.04.140 of the Municipal Code is hereby amended to add or delete the folloing definitions:
      1. The following definition is hereby added to Subdivision (8) of Section 17.04.040 of the Municipal Code:

Accessory dwelling unit (formerly known as “second residential unit”) means a dwelling unit attached or detached from principal permitted dwelling which provides complete and independent living facilities, including living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation facilities, for rent but not for sale.

      1. The following definition is hereby deleted from Subdivision (8) of Section 17.04.040 of the Municipal Code:


    1. Section 17.16.050 of the Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as

17.16.050 Ministerial permits.

A. Purpose.

Ministerial actions, as noted herein, shall be subject to review and approval by the community development director and, as applicable, city engineer, to ensure, project consistency with this title, the municipal code and applicable provisions of state law.

  1. Ministerial Projects.


The following is a list of projects which typically are classified as being ministerial. The community development director and/or city engineer retain the author ity to seek guidance or discretionary approval from a reviewing body if the nature of a proposed project warra nts such action:

    1. Building permits and tenant improvements , where the proposed use or structure does not trigger discretionary review under the terms of this title (such as for certain types of remodeling), or when such discretionary review has been completed;
    1. Demolition permits;
    1. Grading permits where the intended use of land does not trigger discretionary review under the terms of this title, or when such discretionary review has been completed;
    1. Site plans in conjunction with a building or grading permit, except where planning commission design review is required as noted elsewhere in this title;
    1. Certificates of occupancy;
    1. Lot line adjustments ; (Note: The community development director and city engineer may refer a lot line adjustment application to the planning comm ission for action if it is determined that the adjustment has the potential to significantly enhance the develop ability of one or more lots.)
    1. Certificates of compliance;
    1. Accessory dwelling units; and
    1. Voluntary lot mergers. (Ord. 97-03 § 2 (part): prior code § 8-1.4209)
    1. Section 17.52.020 of the Municipal Code is hereby amended to make the following deletions and additions to the Land Use/Zone Matrix:

17.52.020 Land Use/Zone Matrix

Delete Second Residential Units from Table 2 under R-R, R-1 and R-2 as a permitted P use and add Accessory Dwelling Units to Table 2 under R-R, R-1 and R-2 as a permitted P use.

    1. Chapter 17.98 of the Municipal Code is hereby amended in its entirety to read as follows :



Sections: 17.98.010



Purpose and intent. Administration Development Standards

17.98.010 Purpose and intent

The purpose of this section is to permit accessory dwelling units in single-family residential zoning districts consistent with state law (California Government Code

Sections 65852.150 through 65852.2) . This section is intended to expand housing opportunities by increasing the number of housing units available within existing neighborhoods while maintaining the primarily single family” residential character of the area. Accessory dwelling units are intended to provide livable housing at lower cost while providing greater security, companionship, and family support for the occupants, consistent with the general plan. An accessory dwelling unit must comply with all of the provisions in Chapter 17, except as modified in this chapter.

17.98.020 Administration

  1. Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit Required. An approved accessory dwelling unit permit shall be obtained prior to construction, conversion and/or development of an accessory dwelling unit. Pursuant to California Government Code Section 65852 .2, the accessory unit permit shall be considered ministerial without any discretionary review or a hearing. Accessory dwelling units are exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act.
  1. Application.
    1. Applications for an accessory dwelling unit permit shall be filed with the community development director on forms provided by the community development department.
    1. An application for an accessory dwelling unit permit shall be accompanied by a fee established by resolution of the city council to cover the cost of handling the application as prescribed in this subsection.
    1. Once an application is deemed complete the application must be approved or denied within one hundred and twenty (120) days.
  1. Existing Accessory Dwelling Units. This section shall in no way validate an illegal accessory dwelling unit. An application for an Iaccessory dwelling unit permit may be made pursuant to

the provisions of this chapter to convert an illegal accessory dwelling unit into a lawful accessory dwelling unit, or to allow for the replacement, alteration or expans ion of an existing


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nonconforming accessory dwelling unit. The conversion of an illegal accessory dwelling unit into a lawful accessory dwelling unit, or the replacement , alteration or expansion of an existing nonconform ing accessory dwelling unit shall be subject to the requirements of this chapter.

17.98.030 Development Standards

All accessory dwelling units shall comply with the following development standards :

A The maximum area of floor space of a detached accessory residential unit shall not exceed one thousand two hundred (1,200) square feet of living area on lots with a net lot area of twenty thousand (20,000) square feet or more and seven hundred fifty (750) square feet of living area on lots with a net lot area of less than twenty thousand (20,000) square feet. The maximum area of floor space on an attached accessory residential unit shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the living area of the existing principal residence, not to exceed a maximum of one thousa nd

two hundred (1,200) square feet.

  1. The site on which the proposed accessory dwelling unit is to be located meets the minimum lot size requirements for the zone in which it is located and in no instance is less than six thousand (6,000) square feet.
  1. Construction under this section shall be subject to zoning requirements applicable to residential construction in single family (R-R, R-1 and R-2) zones, except as modified by the conditions of this section.
  1. The lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is proposed shall contain a principal residence at the time of construction of the accessory dwelling unit. In the case of vacant lots, the principal residence and accessory dwelling unit may be constructed at the same time.
  1. The accessory dwelling unit is self-contained with its own separate entrance, kitchen and bathroom and shall comply with all applicable building, fire, energy and other health and safety codes.
  1. Only one accessory dwelling unit shall be allowed for each principal residence per lot. An accessory dwelling unit shall not be permitted on a lot already having two or more dwelling units located thereon and shall not be permitted in addition to a guest dwelling. A guest dwelling shall not be permitted on any lot developed with an accessory dwelling unit.
  1. The accessory dwelling unit shall be in compliance with all current zoning requirements, including structure height and yard setbacks. Consistent with the general plan, accessory dwelling units that front on alleys shall be encouraged. An accessory dwelling unit built above

an existing detached garage may be located within five (5) feet of the rear or side property lines, subject to complying with Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.


H.An accessory building or structure, including a garage, may be converted into an accessory dwelling unit, subject to complying with the Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations .

  1. One (1) off-street uncovered parking space shall be provided for every accessory dwelling unit in addition to parking required for the principal residence. The off-street uncovered parking space may be provided in the front setback to the side of the existing driveway or in tandem on the driveway, subject to complying with Section 17.98.0301. When development of the accessory dwelling unit displaces existing required off-street parking (e.g., conversion of a garage) the required parking shall be concurrently replaced on the property in compliance with the off-street parking regulations in Chapter 17.72.

No additional parking is required if the accessory dwelling unit is located :

    1. Within one-half (Yl) mile of public transit;
    2. In an historic district;
    3. In part of an existing principal residence or existing accessory building or structure;
    4. In an area requiring on-street parking permits but they are not offered to the ADU occupant; or
    5. Within one block of a car-sharing vehicle pick-up/drop-off location.
  1. Not more than forty (40) percent of the front yard of a parcel, inclusive of accessory dwelling unit off-street parking requirements, shall be devoted to a driveway .
  1. The accessory dwelling unit shall not cause excessive noise, traffic congestion, parking congestion or overloading of public facilities.
  1. Separate hookups for city services and/or utilities may be required as determined by city standards as applied by city staff or by the appropriate public utility.
  1. Accessory dwelling units shall achieve architectural continuity with the principal residence and with the character of the surrounding neighborhood, as determined by the community development department. No entrance to an accessory dwelling unit shall be located on the front building elevation of the principal residence if the accessory dwelling unit is attached to the residence, in order to maintain the appearance of the structure as a single-family unit.

N. The property owner shall occupy either the principal or accessory dwelling unit as their principal or primary residence as defined by the County Assessor . If either unit should become non-owner occupied the accessory dwelling unit, upon notification by the city, shall be converted into a non-dwelling unit or guest dwelling by removing the kitchen facilities. To ensure the property is owner-occupied the property owner shall record a deed restriction prior to obtaining

a certificate of occupancy for the accessory dwelling unit. The deed restriction will stipulate they (property owner) will live in one of the two units at all times.



  1. Before obtaining an occupancy permit for an accessory dwelling unit the owner of an accessory dwelling unit shall file with the County Recorder a declaration or agreement , form to be approved by the city attorney , stating the owner shall live in either the principal residence or accessory dwelling unit at all times. This restriction shall be removed if the owner eliminates the accessory dwelling unit or converts it into a non-dwelling unit or guest dwelling by removing the kitchen facilities.

P. The size of the accessory dwelling unit shall be counted towards the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) for the site.

  1. Accessory dwelling unit permits shall not be issued for accessory dwelling units that result in adverse impacts to the adequacy of water and sewer services, and/or result in adverse impacts on traffic flow, and/or result in adverse impacts on any real property listed in the California Register of Historic Places.
  1. All new construction or exterior alterations to existing structures proposed under the accessory dwelling unit permit may be subject to design review as prescribed in Chapter 17.36, except that design review shall be ministerial without any discret ionary review or a hearing.
    1. Severability . If any provision or clause of this ordinance or any application of it to any person, firm, organization, partnership or corporation is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions of this ordinance which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application. To this end, the provisions of this ordinance are declared to be severable.
    1. Effective Date and Notice. This ordinance shall take effect thirty (30) days after its adoption and, within fifteen (15) days after its passage, shall be published at least once in a newspaper of general circulation published and circulated within the City of Winters .

INTRODUCED at a regular meeting on the 17th day of January, 2017 and PASSED AND ADOPTED at a regular meeting of the Winters City Council, County of Yolo, State of California , on the 7th day of February, 2017 by the following vote:


Council Members Anderson , Biasi, Loren, Neu, Mayor Cowan None

None None

Wade Cowan, Mayor



Ethan Walsh, City Attorney