Last night, the San José City Council approved amendments to the ordinance for backyard homes—also known as Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The amendments align with State bills that passed this year, focusing on cutting red tape and impact fees, and easing requirements.
In other words: it’s going to be even simpler to build a backyard home on your property to collect additional income for your family, while helping add desperately-needed homes to our city’s housing stock.
The new ordinance goes into effect today. Learn more about what might work on your lot at www.sanjoseca.gov/ADUs.
What changes were made? Check them out:
- There is no longer a minimum lot size requirement for ADUs.
- You are allowed to build an ADU in more types of single-family zoning districts, as well as multi-family and mixed-use zoning areas.
- Junior ADUs (JADU)—an ADU within the main home’s footprint, including attached garages—are now allowed.
- ADUs can be bigger, with up to 2 bedrooms:
Maximum ADU size
Up to 9,000 square feet
1,000 square feet
Greater than 9,000 square feet
1,200 square feet
- Attached ADUs can exceed 50% of the main home area as long as the ADU is smaller than 800 square feet.
- ADUs and other backyard structures can exceed 40% of the rear lot coverage as long as the ADU is smaller than 800 square feet.
- You no longer have to acquire a special permit for ADUs on properties listed on the City’s Historic Resources Inventory.
- You no longer need to offer replacement parking for garage conversions.
- ADUs that are rentals must be rented for a term of no less than 30 days.
Separate from the ordinance, the following new laws go into effect on January 1, 2020:
- You do not have to pay any parkland or school impact fees on ADUs smaller than 750 square feet.
- The City must act on permit applications within a 60-day window. If the City has not taken action within the 60-day window, permit will be considered approved.
- If you currently have an unpermitted ADU on your property, you can qualify for a mandatory 5-year stay on any agency enforcement, as long as your ADU meets health and safety standards.
Find the latest information and updates to ordinance changes here.
Check out more ADU news here.