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10 Changes You Need To Know Of California's ADU Law In 2024



|Last Updated: 19 Dec 2023

If you've ever considered building an ADU on your property, California's recent legislative changes are crucial to understand. 10 changes to California's ADU Law in 2024.

If you've ever considered building an ADU on your property, California's recent legislative changes are crucial to understand. We will provide an in-depth analysis of the 10 key changes coming into effect, breaking them down into three categories: Goldilocks, Good Cop, and Bad Cop changes.

1.Goldilocks Changes

Statewide, the maximum height for an ADU is now 16 feet, with exceptions for specific scenarios allowing up to 18 or 25 feet. These changes aim to strike the perfect balance for multi-story ADUs.

What's the difference between 16 feet tall, 18 feet tall and 25 feet tall ?

16 feet tall was just a little bit too small to fit two stories,maybe you could fit a storage area or a loft there but it's not ideal now.25 feet tall you can clearly fit two the one up for question is the 18 feet tall Adu, It's said that an 18 foot tall Adu is just right for two stories.


2. Good Cop Changes:

Setbacks: Front setbacks can no longer prevent the construction of a Statewide exemption ADU, expanding opportunities.

Unpermitted Work: Homeowners no longer need to bring unpermitted work up to code to build an ADU.

Fire Sprinklers: Certain ADUs may no longer trigger the requirement for fire sprinklers.

Demolition: Cities are required to administer a demolition permit if tearing down a garage to build an ADU.


3. Bad Cop Changes:

Defined Permitting Agencies: Clear guidelines are set for agencies involved in ADU permitting.Permit Approval Timeline: Permitting agencies now have 60 days to approve or deny an ADU permit.

Denial Explanation: If a city denies an ADU permit, they must provide a comprehensive list of reasons.

As a bonus, the changes of  NO.11 in 2023 was focusing on single homeowners that can convert interior spaces into bedrooms. AB 916 allows for this without a public hearing, potentially increasing property value.


These legislative changes offer exciting opportunities for California homeowners, but interpretation and enforcement may vary by jurisdiction. We advise checking the link in the description for a free webinar to learn more about ADUs and how to navigate these changes effectively.


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