Skip to main content
Loading…
This section is included in your selections.

A. The purpose of this section is to provide regulations for the establishment of accessory dwelling units in compliance with, inter alia, California Government Code Section 65852.2. Said units may be located in areas zoned to allow single-family or multifamily dwelling residential use. Accessory dwelling units are a potential source of affordable housing and shall not be considered in any calculation of allowable density for the lot upon which they are located and shall also be deemed consistent with the General Plan and zoning designation of the lot as provided. Accessory dwelling units shall not be considered a separate dwelling unit for the purpose of subdividing the property into individual condominium or lot ownership.

B. For the purposes of this section, the following words are defined:

Above” means an accessory dwelling unit that is attached to and built over a primary residence including an attached garage, or above a detached garage or accessory building.

Accessory dwelling unit” means an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence. An accessory dwelling unit shall have exterior access from the proposed or existing single-family dwelling. It shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as the single-family or multifamily dwelling is or will be situated. An accessory dwelling unit also includes the following:

1. An efficiency unit, as defined in Section 17958.1 of the Health and Safety Code.

2. A manufactured home, as defined in Section 18007 of the Health and Safety Code.

Accessory structure” means a structure that is accessory and incidental to a dwelling unit located on the same lot.

Attached” means a wall, floor, or ceiling of an accessory dwelling unit is shared with the primary residence on the property.

Basement” means the same as defined in CVMC 19.04.026.

Detached” means an accessory dwelling unit separated from the primary residence as specified in subsection (C)(6)(b) of this section.

Living area” means the interior habitable area of a dwelling unit, including basements and attics, but does not include a garage or any accessory structure.

Nonconforming zoning condition” means a physical improvement on a property that does not conform with current zoning standards.

Passageway” means a pathway that is unobstructed clear to the sky and extends from a street to one entrance of the accessory dwelling unit.

Primary residence(s)” means a proposed or existing single-family dwelling or existing multifamily dwellings constructed on a lot as the main permitted use by the zone on said parcel.

Public street” means any public right-of-way designated for vehicular use.

Public transit” means a location, including, but not limited to, a bus stop or train station, where the public may access buses, trains, subways, and other forms of transportation that charge set fares, run on fixed routes, and are available to the public.

Tandem parking” means two or more vehicles parked on a driveway or in any other location on a lot, lined up behind one another.

Walking distance” means the distance between the accessory dwelling unit and public transit as measured along a public street. The measurement shall proceed from the accessory dwelling unit in a continuous line to the closest property line of the public street, measured perpendicular to the public street. The measurement shall then continue along the property lines of the public street fronts, and in a direct line across intersections along the shortest pedestrian route toward the public transit.

C. Accessory dwelling units shall be subject to the following requirements and development standards:

1. Zones. Accessory dwelling units can be created in areas zoned to allow single-family or multifamily dwelling residential use. A coastal development permit may be required for accessory dwelling units within the coastal zone. Construction of a primary residence can be in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit.

2. Number of Accessory Dwelling Units Permitted.

a. An accessory dwelling unit is permitted on a lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling unit; or

b. Multiple accessory dwelling units are permitted within portions of multifamily buildings that are not used as liveable space including, but not limited to, storage rooms, boiler rooms, passageways, attics, basements, or garages; or

c. A minimum of one accessory dwelling unit, or up to 25 percent of the existing multifamily units, is permitted within an existing multifamily dwelling; or

d. Up to two detached accessory dwelling units shall be permitted on a lot with an existing multifamily dwelling.

3. Unit Size. Accessory dwelling units shall conform to the following size requirements:

a. The total floor area for an attached accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 50 percent of the total floor area of the proposed or existing primary residence, 850 square feet, or 1,000 square feet for a unit that provides more than one bedroom, whichever is greater.

b. An accessory dwelling unit of at least 800 square feet shall be permitted regardless of floor area ratio, lot coverage or open space requirements of the underlying zone.

c. The total floor area for a detached accessory dwelling shall not exceed 1,200 square feet.

d. An accessory dwelling unit within an existing accessory structure may be increased by a maximum of 150 square feet beyond the same physical dimensions as the existing accessory structure to accommodate ingress and egress.

4. Unit Location. Accessory dwelling units may be attached to or located within a proposed or existing primary residence or accessory structure (including attached garages, storage areas or similar structures). Accessory dwelling units may be detached from the primary residence.

5. Height. An accessory dwelling unit, as measured from the ground, shall not exceed the height limit for the primary residence in accordance with the underlying zone, or 16 feet, whichever is greater.

6. Development Standard Exceptions. Accessory dwelling units shall conform to the underlying zoning and land use development requirements for primary residences with the following exceptions:

a. A new attached or detached accessory dwelling unit is allowed a setback of no less than four feet from the side and rear lot lines.

b. A new detached accessory dwelling unit shall be located a minimum of six feet from a primary residence.

c. No setback shall be required for an existing garage, living area, or accessory structure constructed in the same dimensions that is converted to an accessory dwelling unit or to a portion of an accessory dwelling unit, and a setback of no less than four feet from the side and rear lot lines shall be required for an accessory dwelling unit that is constructed above an accessory structure.

d. Correction of nonconforming zoning conditions shall not be a condition for ministerial approval of a permit application for the creation of an accessory dwelling unit.

7. Parking. Parking for an accessory dwelling unit is not required in any of the following instances:

a. The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit.

b. The accessory dwelling unit is within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.

c. The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.

d. The accessory dwelling unit is in an area where on-street parking permits are required, but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.

e. The accessory dwelling unit is located within one block of a car share area.

8. Accessory dwelling units not meeting any of the above requirements shall be subject to the following access and parking regulations:

a. Parking. Parking requirements for accessory dwelling units shall not exceed one parking space per unit or per bedroom, whichever is less. Parking spaces may be provided in tandem on a driveway; provided, that access to the garage for the primary residence is not obstructed. Off-street parking shall be permitted in setback areas or through tandem parking, unless specific findings are made that parking in setback areas or tandem parking is not feasible based upon specific site or regional topographical or fire and life safety conditions.

b. The required parking space(s) shall be on the same lot as the accessory dwelling unit. This parking is in addition to the parking requirements for the primary residence as specified in CVMC 19.62.170.

c. Notwithstanding CVMC 19.62.190, when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit, or is converted to an accessory dwelling unit that was previously used by the primary residence, replacement parking is not required. If the existing driveway is no longer necessary for access to the converted garage or other required parking, said driveway may be used to satisfy the required parking for the accessory dwelling unit when not exempt from subsection (C)(7) of this section.

d. Access to all required parking shall be from a public street, alley or a recorded access easement. Access from a designated utility easement or similar condition shall not be permitted. For any lot proposing an accessory dwelling unit and served by a panhandle or easement access, the access must be a minimum 20 feet in width.

e. Curb cuts providing access from the public right-of-way to on-site parking spaces shall be acceptable to the City Engineer. A construction permit from the City Engineer shall be obtained for any new or widened curb cuts.

f. Required parking spaces or required maneuvering area shall be free of any utility poles, support wires, guard rails, standpipes or meters, and be in compliance with CVMC 19.62.150.

g. When a required parking space abuts a fence or wall on either side, the space shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide. If this area also serves as the pedestrian access from an accessory dwelling unit to the street, the paving shall be a minimum 12 feet wide.

9. Utilities. An accessory dwelling unit may be served by the same water and sewer lateral connections that serve the primary residence. A separate electric meter and address may be provided for the accessory dwelling unit.

10. Design Standards. Dwelling units on the lot should be complementary or compatible in appearance with each other by incorporating matching architectural design, building materials and colors of the primary residence with the accessory dwelling unit, and any other accessory structure built concurrently with the accessory dwelling unit. However, the primary residence may be modified to match the new accessory dwelling unit.

11. Designated Historical Sites. An accessory dwelling unit may be allowed on designated or historical sites, provided the location and design of the accessory dwelling unit meets corresponding historical preservation requirements in place at the time the accessory dwelling unit is built, and complies with the requirements of this section including the following:

a. The accessory dwelling unit shall be located behind a primary residence that is determined to be a historic resource.

b. The construction of the accessory dwelling unit shall not result in the removal of any other historically significant accessory structure, such as garages, outbuildings, stables or other similar structures.

c. The accessory dwelling unit shall be designed as to have a distinguishable architectural style and finished materials composition from the historic primary residence or structure.

d. Construction of an accessory dwelling unit shall not result in demolition, alteration or movement of any historic structures and any other on-site features that convey the historic significance of the structure and site.

e. If an historic house/site is under a Mills Act contract with the City, the contract shall be amended to authorize the introduction of the accessory dwelling unit on the site.

12. Occupancy Requirement. At the time of building permit submittal, and continuously thereafter, the property owner(s) shall reside on the lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located or constructed. The Zoning Administrator shall have the authority to suspend this occupancy requirement for a period not to exceed five years when evidence has been submitted that one of the following situations exists:

a. The property owner’s health requires them to temporarily live in an assisted living or nursing facility.

b. The property owner is required to live outside the San Diego region as a condition of employment or military service.

c. The property owner is required to live elsewhere to care for an immediate family member.

d. The property owner has received the property as the result of the settlement of an estate.

This subsection (C)(12) shall be held in abeyance until January 1, 2025.

13. Accessory dwelling units shall not be required to provide fire sprinklers if they are not required for the primary residence.

14. An application for an accessory dwelling unit that is deemed complete by the City shall be considered and approved within 60 days if there is an existing single-family or multifamily dwelling on the lot. If the application is submitted with an application to create a new single-family dwelling on the lot, the application for the accessory dwelling unit shall be considered and approved within 60 days of approval of the new single-family dwelling.

15. Accessory dwelling units that are applied for after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this section, cannot be rented for less than 30 days.

16. Accessory dwelling units are exempt from the requirements of CVMC 12.24.030, Dedications – Required.

17. An application for an accessory dwelling unit on a private sewage disposal system shall require approval by the local health officer. (Ord. 3503 § 1, 2021; Ord. 3465 § 1, 2019; Ord. 3448 § 1, 2018; Ord. 3423 § 1, 2018; Ord. 3153 § 2 (Exh. A), 2010; Ord. 3074 § 1, 2007; Ord. 2957 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2951 § 1, 2004; Ord. 2897 § 6, 2003).