Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance Update

In September 2016, Image descriptionGovernor Brown signed two legislative acts that comprised the new law governing accessory dwelling units (ADUs), AB 2299 and SB 1069, both of which came into effect on January 1, 2017. The new statute amended various sections of Government Code section 65852.2 which regulates accessory dwelling units (formerly called second dwelling units) and invalidates a local agency’s existing accessory dwelling unit ordinance if it does not comply with all requirements of the newly adopted state standards. The intent of the new law is to reduce the regulatory, physical and financial barriers to constructing accessory dwelling units and encourage construction of smaller, often more affordable housing options, for seniors, young adults, and others who are affected by the housing shortage in California.

On March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an Interim Ordinance (Ordinance No. 4507) to regulate accessory dwelling units in non-coastal areas as an Urgency Measure, pursuant to Government Code section 65858. A summary of the new provisions in the ADU Interim Ordinance is provided in the link below. Ordinance No. 4507 will be in effect for non-coastal areas for 45 days (until April 28, 2017).

Image descriptionOn April 18, 2017, the Board of Supervisors adopted an extension to the ADU Interim Ordinance (Ordinance No. 4509). The ADU Interim Ordinance Extension carried over the same provisions that were adopted in Ordinance 4507. The ADU Interim Ordinance Extension will be in effect for 10 months and 15 days (until March 13, 2018).

Planning Division staff are currently drafting policy options for a permanent ordinance that will regulate ADUs after the expiration of the ADU Interim Ordinance. Planning staff will provide analysis and policy alternatives to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors during a study session meeting on September 19, 2017. At the study session, the Board will provide policy direction only, with formal ordinance language to be developed after the meeting. The public is invited to attend and comment on ADU information to be discussed at this study session meeting.

When: Board of Supervisors Meeting on September 19, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.

Where: 800 S. Victoria Ave. Ventura, CA, County Government Center, Hall of Administration, Board of Supervisors Hearing Room.
A proposed permanent ADU Ordinance will be available for review, comment, and decision at a Planning Commission Hearing to be held in late 2017/early 2018, and at a subsequent Board of Supervisors Hearing in early 2018. The public will have opportunities to make comments at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors hearings, as well as during public outreach meetings to be scheduled.

With regard to ADUs in the coastal areas, a memo from the Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission providing guidance on the new ADU legislation and how it applies in the coastal areas is available below.

Any questions or comments regarding the Interim ADU Ordinance or the Permanent ADU Ordinance Update can be directed to the project planner, Charles Anthony, by email at