Accessory Dwelling Units

project update

Updated 10/27/2022

The State has identified Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as an important tool to create more affordable housing amidst California’s housing crisis, and has passed several laws to make it easier to build ADUs. The City is preparing an ordinance to be consistent with the State laws, and needs community to ensure the regulations reflect Malibu’s needs and characteristics. 

In October 2022, a Notice of Planning Commission Public Hearing was published to consider the ADU ordinance. However, the hearing has been postponed to Winter 2023.

On August 22, 2022, the City Council considered the Planning Commission's request for additional studies and direction. At its meeting, the Council directed staff 1) in order to protect sensitive coastal resources and public access to the coast, minimize substantive changes in the Local Coastal Program (LCP) for the proposed ordinance which complies with state law; and 2) bring the item back to the Planning Commission without the studies requested. online (see Item 6C)

On March 7, 2022, prior to the opening of the public hearing on the City’s ADU draft ordinance, the Planning Commission requested staff to prepare a staff report with numerous discussion items and postponed the public hearing. For complete list of the issues raised by the Commission, see the Planning Commission Action Memorandum

What is an ADU?

In general, an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a smaller, independent residential dwelling unit  (i.e., detached) located on the same lot as a stand-alone, single-family home. In response to recent changes in State laws, the City is preparing a local ordinance to amend the Municipal Code and Local Coastal Program (LCP) so that they are consistent with State law.

project overview

In 2016, in an effort to increase affordable housing opportunities, the State of California adopted three laws regarding ADUs and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs): State Bill (SB) 1069, Assembly Bill (AB) 2299, and AB 2406, which all went into effect in 2017. The new regulations were intended to reduce the regulatory, physical, and financial barriers to constructing ADUs, which were seen as an opportunity for providing affordable housing. It is important to note that State law still authorizes local agencies to adopt additional restrictions to regulate ADUs, as long as the additional restrictions do not conflict with regulations established in State law. In January 2018, the Legislature further updated ADU law to clarify and improve various provisions in order to promote the development of ADUs. These include allowing ADUs to be built concurrently with a single-family home, increasing the areas where ADUs can be built to include all zoning districts that allow single-family uses, modifying fees from utilities, such as special districts and water corporations, and reducing parking requirements. In October 2019, the State legislature adopted four laws that will have further significant effects on promoting ADU development: AB 881, AB 670, SB 13, and AB 68. These new laws went into effect on January 1, 2020. 

It should be noted that the City of Malibu is entirely within the coastal zone and has a certified LCP that governs all new development, including ADUs. Portions of Malibu’s LCP are more restrictive than State ADU regulations.

SUBMIT COMMENTS

To submit a comments on the proposed ordinance, email teaton@malibucity.org or mail to: City of Malibu Planning Department, c/o Tyler Eaton, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, CA 90265.

NOTIFICATIONS

To be notified directly of important information regarding the proposed ordinance, including public hearings and meetings, email Tyler Eaton at teaton@malibucity.org or call 310-456-2489, ext. 273.

RESOURCES

COMMUNITY MEETINGS & PUBLIC INPUT

Meeting videos for City Council and Planning Commission are available in the Public Meeting Video Archive


ADU-RELATED STATE BILLS

The State of California has adopted several bills that affect accessory dwelling units (ADUs). With respect to the ADU ordinance, the focus is on AB 881, section 1.5 (and to some extent, section 2.5, which does not take effect until 2025) regarding ADUs, and on AB 68, section 2, regarding Junior Accessory Dwelling Units. The other bills also affect ADUs, but in ways that are not significantly related to the City’s ordinance. For example, SB 13, section 3, adds a new Health and Safety Code provision affecting extensions of time to correct building-code violations in an ADU, AB 670 affects ADUs under private CC&Rs, AB 671 affects ADU treatment in Housing Elements, and AB 587 allows for separate conveyance of an ADU in very narrow circumstances, if the City chooses to allow it. 

Note: Some bills contain yellow and red highlighting - Yellow highlighting identifies the sections that take effect, and the non-highlighted sections do not take effect because of the order in which the bills were signed into law. In AB 881, since both sections 1.5 and 2.5 are effective, and section 2.5 replaces section 1.5 as of January 1, 2025,  the substantive differences between the texts of the two sections are highlighted in red.