The City Council conducted the second reading of an ordinance that will remove the requirement to provide two covered parking spaces when building an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) exceeding 150 square feet.
New construction of an ADU requires two covered parking spaces with either a carport or enclosed garage. Smaller additions of up to 150 square feet to single family dwellings are exempt from this requirement.
City Manager Steve Mermell initiated a zoning code amendment “to eliminate the requirement for providing two covered parking spaces when constructing any addition, regardless of size, to an existing single family dwelling,” according to a city staff report.
Recently enacted state laws limit the types of parking requirements that local agencies can impose on ADUs, whether they are detached or converted from existing structures. The zoning code requires two covered parking spaces within a garage or carport. A specific provision allows additions with a maximum total of 150 square feet to be made without requiring the two-car covered parking requirement.
As a result, any addition to an existing residence, including construction of an accessory structure such as a pool house or workshop of over 150 square feet triggers a requirement to provide two covered spaces within a garage or carport.
The code provides an exception for designated historic resources, wherein a homeowner may request a waiver of the covered parking requirement when adding floor area if an existing, one-car garage contributes to the significance of the property and/or district and is in good condition or will be returned to good condition as part of the work to add floor area to the dwelling.
The current rules create an inequity for homeowners seeking to build additions that often do not generate any additional parking demand.
The ordinance eliminates significant cost barriers for homeowners looking to modernize and improve their properties and make parking regulations consistent with those mandated by state law for ADUs.
State law exempts ADUs from the requirement to build covered parking altogether, and allows the use of driveways to satisfy off-street parking requirements.