Nov 12 2022

More Permissive ADU and Bedroom Ordinance: Plan Commission Monday, Nov. 14, 2022

The Piedmont Civic Association wrote to the Piedmont Planning Department inquiring about the proposal to expand Piedmont’s ordinance allowing more bedrooms, taller ADU units, the ability to sell Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) separately on Piedmont properties, etc.  Homeowners would be permitted to subdivide their property into multiple residential units. All applications are to be considered and approved by the Planning staff with no neighbor input or public hearing. 

The City responses are in red ink to PCA inquiries printed below. 

To the Planning Department:

Thank you for the  information.  In an attempt to provide Piedmonters with information regarding the proposal, the following information is requested for publication purposes.

It would be helpful to our many readers and all Piedmonters if you provided more of an outline or executive summary of the changes to more readily tell readers what and why the changes are made.  For instance, What is the height limit being proposed? Is this required?  Where is Piedmont meeting and exceeding the State law with these proposals?

Here is the link to the staff report:

To learn about the height limitations (current and new), please see these pages of the staff report: Please see page 2(item b); page 3 (bullet 5 at the top of the page), page 6 (2nd bullet under item 5) and Page 25 (Section 17.38.060.B.4.).

Your press release states:

“Proposed revisions to ADU regulations include:

  • Changes to development standards around height and setbacks What are the current standards and what are both the required and proposed changes?

For the heights please refer the pages noted above.

Please see these pages of the staff report to learn more about Setbacks- page 25 (Section 17.38.060.B.6.c), page 2 (item c), page 5( item 1 at the bottom of the page), page 6 ( bullet 3 under item 5) and page 8 (setbacks)

  • Allows an ADU to be sold independently from the primary residence if the buyer meets
    certain criteria  What are the proposed criteria? How does this change Piedmont’s current restrictions?

Currently, City Codes do not allow for separate conveyance of ADU.

For City Code revisions addressing separate conveyance of ADUs please see 2nd bullet under item 4 on page 6 of the staff report.

See new section 17.38.100 separate conveyance on page 32 of the staff report.

CriteriaGovernment Code Section 65852.26

  • Allows for the removal of owner occupancy deed restrictions on ADUs approved before
    2020 if the owner accepts a new 15-year deed restriction mandating that if the ADU is
    rented out, it must be rented to a tenant who meets “very low income” affordability
    thresholds set by the Association of Bay Area Governments.” Explain the circumstances.

Prior to 2020 the City required a deed restriction that the owner occupy the primary unit or ADU. Beginning Jan 1, 2020 Govt. Code Section 65852.2 (a) (6) prohibits a local jurisdiction from requiring owner occupancy. The City has received inquiries from property owners who have ADU permits with the owner-occupancy deed restriction and want to have tenants occupy both the primary and accessory dwelling units. They seek a process to remove the owner occupancy deed restriction. New code section 17.38.090 provides a process for the removal of an owner occupancy deed restriction on the condition that the unit be deed-restricted to a very-low income tenant for a period of 15 years.

Provide information on any other significant modifications of Piedmont laws. 

How are the following being addressed for ADUs, JDUs and homes ?

  • Parking- no change
  • Access- no change
  • Open space- no change
  • Tree preservation- no change
  • Safety- no change
  • View considerations- no change
  • Sidewalks- no change
  • Utility undergrounding- no change
  • Distances between buildings- no change
  • Fencing- no change
  • Landscaping- no change
  • Sun and light– no change

Thank you,

PCA Editors

2022-11-4 ADU and Bedroom Ordinance Hearing Notice (1) PUBLIC NOTICE

November 14 2022 PC AgendaPC MEETING DETAILS

Staff Report ADUs Addtl Bedrooms – 11-14-2022 < Describes the proposed Ordinance


Further information and legislative text:

One Response to “More Permissive ADU and Bedroom Ordinance: Plan Commission Monday, Nov. 14, 2022”

  1. SB987 frees up a lot of new Piedmont real estate for ADU development, namely the front yard 20-foot setback. The new law allows ADU to be built to within 4 feet of the front property line. From the staff report:

    Steet Yard Setback (17.38.060B.6.c.): This is an addition within this section due to the change under this law. An ADU of 800 square feet or less can be constructed in the street yard setback but outside the 4-foot side and rear yard setbacks, if it is determined by the Director or the Director’s designee, that the ADU cannot be constructed anywhere else on the property.

    SB897 does not explicitly give the Director or designee the authority to tell the property owner that they must “build in the back” if there is enough square footage. Property owners may prefer to develop their front yard rather than back yard for a number of reasons, one being to preserve their backyard for their use.

    Only objective standards can be applied by local jurisdictions when regulating ADU and I fail to see any objective standard that justifies the Director’s new authority. Does anyone else?

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