Our outgoing Mayor Eric Garcetti (appointed as Ambassador to India) has just made the process of building an ADU easier. Now, for many of you unaware, an ADU (a/k/a accessory dwelling unit) is an additional dwelling unit, attached or detached, built on a lot that is zoned for only one unit. Prior you could not build a 2nd unit on a property zoned for only one unit. The majority of ADUs tend to be converted garages.
Initially, there was a smaller group of ADU specialist architects and builders that had taken over the scene of building these units, and they called themselves “ADU building specialists”. This made it more expensive to build as the rules are complicated, creating less competition to do these types of jobs.
Thanks to Mayor Garcetti, in an attempt to make more affordable housing in Los Angeles via ADU, the process of building ADUs has been streamlined. The Standard Plan Program provides LADBS and LA residents a simplified permitting process for the design and construction of ADUs that can be built repeatedly. The use of Standard Plans reduces the time required for plan check resulting in faster permit issuance. Under the Standard Plan Program, plans are designed by private licensed architects and engineers to accommodate various site conditions. Plans are then reviewed and pre-approved by LADBS for compliance with the Building, Residential, and Green Codes. When the applicant selects an approved Standard Plan, LADBS staff will review site-specific factors for your property, including compliance with the Zoning Code and foundation requirements.
What we love about ADUs is how they make owning a home so much more affordable. While the cost can be around $100,000 or more to build, they provide income to assist with the high cost of living in Los Angeles and create more affordable housing in LA. And who hasn’t dreamt of living in a guest house in Los Angeles in an area that would normally be unaffordable.
Woo hoo, go ADUs!