New website provides detailed information on accessory apartments
Due to new legislation passed in Sacramento in recent years, Mission Viejo has seen a steady increase in requests and approvals for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).
ADUs are small self-contained units with a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area and can be attached to the main house with a separate entrance or placed at the back of the property or above a garage. Over the years, ADUs have been known by many names: granny flats, bonded units, backyard cottages, secondary units, and more.
California lawmakers recently said that “…ADUs are a valuable form of housing that meet the needs of family members, students, the elderly, home health care providers, those with disabilities and others. The state sees them as an “innovative and effective option to create much-needed housing in California.”
Cities cannot legally deny ADUs, and the state ADU statute and recent legislative changes intend to remove roadblocks, streamline approval, and expand the potential capacity for ADUs to meet California’s housing needs. For example, if someone requests construction of an ADU under state law, the City of Mission Viejo must administratively approve the ADU and not require the typical “neighborhood awareness” form that alerts neighbors to adjacent development projects. ADUs must be permitted on any development, regardless of lot size, with minimal setbacks – as required by state law.
To educate residents and address concerns about this state legislation, the city has created a detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on its website. The FAQ page contains answers to questions such as: “Is there a maximum size for ADUs; are ADUs exempt from parking requirements; and can my local homeowners association ban them?” The website also links to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and lists Mission Viejo properties that have or have applied for ADU building permits.
For more information, contact the city’s Community Development Department at 949-470-3053 or [email protected].
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