accessory dwelling unit

Long Beach OKs New Rules for Building Granny Flats

shannonjones City of Long Beach , Featured Articles , Long Beach Leave a Comment

Long Beach homeowners and prospective homebuyers should be aware that the City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved new rules and fees regarding the construction of accessory dwelling units, better known as granny flats.

A lot of our clients have asked whether their property qualifies for an ADU, the construction and parking restrictions on qualified properties and getting a permit for illegal granny flats.

This council vote follows the signing of two bills, SB 229 and AB 494, which clarified state regulations of ADUs. The most significant change was that cities cannot require a property owner to provide more than one off-street parking space per new dwelling unit or bedroom. However, the city can institute exceptions for properties in the Coastal Zone or city-designated impacted parking areas.

These new state laws are effective Jan. 1.

Long Beach city council members made the following tweaks during the second reading of the city’s rules governing ADU construction, which are effective Jan. 19.

  • Increase the minimum lot size required to 5,200 square feet
  • Increase the required open space on the property to 30 percent of the ADU’s gross area
  • Reduce an ADU’s size to 50 percent of the gross floor area of the primary dwelling
  • Require off-street parking for ADUs within Impacted Parking Districts and neighborhoods that require parking permits on-street parking
  • Require a covenant to ensure the primary dwelling on the property is owner occupied, the ADU cannot be sold separately and a prohibition on using ADUs as short-term rentals.

State law also requires cities to allow ADUs in single-family zones and allows cities to permit them in multi-family zones. City staffers determined that nearly all Long Beach residential properties eligible for ADUs are within a half-mile of public transit stops, namely Long Beach Transit.  Therefore, most homeowners will not have to provide any off-street parking for tenants of newly-constructed accessory dwellings.

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