Accessory Dwelling Units

project update

Updated 11/17/21 - On December 6, 2021, the Planning Commission will hold  a virtual public hearing to consider a revised draft ADU ordinance and make a recommendation to City Council. See the Notice of Public Hearing for details. On May 20, 2021, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the draft ordinance and provided comments to staff. Staff has incorporated the Commission's comments into the revised draft ordinance which will be considered by the Commission on December 6. See the Meeting section below for previous meeting videos, staff reports, and minutes. 

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.


To submit a comments on the proposed ordinance, email or mail to: City of Malibu Planning Department, c/o Justine Kendall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu, CA 90265.


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



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


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.