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What's the difference between ADU and SB-9?

ADUs are a common form of secondary housing authorized in many cities and towns for decades. SB-9 is a relatively recent law allowing property owners to split their lots to build additional housing units. Both are intended to increase the supply of affordable housing in California.

ADU vs SB-9, side by side

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a secondary dwelling unit on the same lot as a primary dwelling unit. ADUs can be attached or detached from the primary dwelling unit and are designed to be self-sufficient with their own kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. ADUs are often used as rental units or for multigenerational living arrangements.

SB-9 is a California state law that allows property owners to build up to two extra dwelling units on a lot with an existing single-family home without requiring a local government to approve the project if it meets certain conditions. These conditions include the new units meeting zoning and building standards, parking requirements, and being within a half-mile of public transit.

The main difference between an ADU and SB-9 is that ADUs are typically smaller units built on the same lot as an existing primary dwelling unit, while SB-9 allows for the construction of up to two additional units on a lot with an existing single-family home. ADUs are subject to local zoning and building codes, while SB-9 provides a statewide framework for building accessory residential units.

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