Second Unit Ordinance Updates

The Town has begun the process of updating its accessory dwelling unit (ADUs) regulations and is seeking public input and comments at several upcoming Planning Commission meetings. The proposed code changes are intended to provide incentives to property owners to legalize and construct second dwelling units.

A summary of the proposed changes are as follows:

• Allow parking for second units in the required setbacks on existing paved areas and driveways;

• Allow second units on lots with a gross acreage of 0.75 or greater;

• Allow for the conversion of any portion of an existing legal residential structure to a second unit regardless of the lot area;

• Allow for a maximum unit size of 1,200 square feet which would not include attached covered parking (and potentially restrict the use of the basement area);

• Do not require the payment of a pathway fee or reduced pathway fee;

• Reduce project review and other development fees;

• Consider partial floor area and partial setback exceptions;

• Consider exemptions for undergrounding of overhear utilities on properties with existing overhead service to the primary dwelling;

• Modify code language to reference secondary units as “accessory dwelling units” and/or “ADU”;

• Consider height limitations to allow for discretionary review of detached, two-story accessory dwelling units;

Related documents/websites:

• April 4th Planning Commission meeting; meeting video can be accessed here and staff’s report can be accessed here.

• California Department of Housing and Community Development’s website for accessory dwelling units (ADU) can be accessed here.

• California Government Code Sections 65852.2, which regulates accessory dwelling units can be located here

• Survey of ADU regulations from adjacent jurisdictions can be located here

• Estimate of fees for constructing a new second unit in Los Altos Hills can be located here (this is for illustrative purposes only)

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