What You Should Know About The New California A.D.U. Laws For 2020

What You Should Know About The New California A.D.U. Laws For 2020

January 1, 2020 will be a big year for ADUs in California. A series of laws will go into effect that revise and relax the laws governing ADUs. The new laws are intended to help address the housing shortage in California and make ADU development easier. For developers, investors and homeowners these laws will open up a range of investment possibilities. and increase the potential to earn supplemental re-occurring income.

The four laws that have the most impact on ADU development are Assembly Bill (AB 881), Assembly Bill (AB 670), Senate Bill 13 (SB 13), and Assembly Bill 68 (AB 68). After studying each of these laws, we’ve extracted the key points to help summarize the new regulations. Below are our takeaways from each of the laws:


The maximum setback for an ADU would be 4’-0”. Local authorities can no long enforce large setbacks on ADUs.

If an ADU is created in an existing structure i.e. a garage at the same size, the local agency cannot require replacement parking to be provided if the ADU replaces the parking spaces. For example, if you build an ADU in an existing two-car garage, the two parking spaces do not need to be put somewhere else on the lot.

There is no more maximum or minimum size for an ADU based on the percentage of the primary residence. In the past, local jurisdictions could limit the size of an ADU based on a percentage of the primary residence.

The local permitting agency must act on the submittal of an application for an ADU within 60 days on a ministerial CEQA exempt basis. (Previously it was 120) Local authorities cannot impose owner-occupancy requirements on the construction of ADUs. In other words, the owner of the property does not have to live in the primary residence or the ADU on the lot. These can both be rental units and the owner of the property can live elsewhere.

Clarifies “public transit” to mean both bus stops and bus routes within a half mile walking distance from the ADU.


Any deed or covenant prohibiting ADUs is void and unenforceable on a single family lot. An HOA , CC&R or neighborhood group cannot prevent you from building an ADU on a single family lot.

This bill is going to have a big impact in many of the coastal communities of Southern California. Most of these communities have strict HOAs or CC&Rs that restrict ADUs. Bill 670 will make these unenforceable.


Agencies cannot impose impact fees on ADUs under 750 SQFT.

The applicant on the application to build the ADU does not have to be an “owner-applicant” of either the primary residence or the ADU.


This law allows for ADUs as well as Junior ADUs on lots where certain access, setback and other criteria are met. This means that there could be up to three units on a single property.

What will result from these new laws? We would expect more homeowners and investors building ADUs on their properties. The reduced friction in the permitting process and relaxed code requirements means increased potential to earn supplemental income, increase your property value and explore new investment strategies. Don’t be surprised if you see investors and developers separating their properties into three rentals (Primary Residence, ADU, and Junior ADU) and collecting income on each of them individually.

If you are interested in exploring how you can add an ADU or convert your garage to an ADU, contact me and let me help you understand the value it will instantly add to your home or multi unit.

Kim Suwa


Kim has served in many positions with our company and works diligently to answer any questions that you may have. Her proficient and vast set of skills is unique in that she is highly qualified in all areas of Leasing and Property Management. Kim gracefully manages all the accounting staff and functions, including coordinating rental tax, owner disbursements, move out accounting, trust account reconciliation, human resources and oversees all lease renewals for Amy Home Sales and Clear Property Management to ensure that our occupancy rate is maintained at the highest level.

Kim has an incomparable ability to solve problems and is meticulous about maintaining perfection. Should you ever have a question about anything, please let her know.

Anne Trear


CalDRE: #02096043


Anne Trear brings a passion for real estate and commitment to her clients to Beverly & Co, teaming up with Amy Weber as a buyer’s agent. She focuses on creatively finding solutions for her clients, embracing the opportunity to meet and develop relationships with a wide range of people, all while helping them make one of the most important decisions of their lives; she feels fortunate to get to be a part of such a monumental moment. She thrives in the exciting, fast-paced environment of real estate, where everyday is engaging and different.

Anne’s experience as a bartender and trail guide at an equestrian center have given her the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life, each bringing their own passions, emotions, and personalities to the table. She leverages this insight in her real estate career, always seeking to fully understand her clients–their desires, dreams, and needs—so she can best serve them. Enthusiastic, and motivated, Anne values honesty and integrity; her work ethic and hustle speak to her dedication to making sure her clients are completely taken care of every step of the way.

When she’s not serving her clients, she spends her time volunteering at The Union Rescue Mission and exploring her community.

Amy Weber


CalDRE: #01946366


Amy Weber brings Beverly & Co. a wealth of real estate experience and a keen competitive drive. After finding success investing in properties herself, Amy gained extensive knowledge of the industry before becoming an agent. She is an accredited home stager, broker associate and E-Pro Real Estate Agent as well as a Certified Real Estate specialist (CRS), a Buyer’s Real Estate Specialist (BRS), a Senior Real Estate pro (SRES) and Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist (CPRES).

A former actress, talent agency owner and veteran of the WWE, Amy is no stranger to the rigors of competition. She is a tireless champion for her clients and understands the importance of standing out in a crowded field. To help attract potential buyers to her properties, Amy calls upon her highly skilled network of photographers and drone video operators, who work to put each home in its best light. Amy has received numerous acknowledgements from past clients praising her polished performance and talent for closing deals.

In her free time, Amy loves cooking, reading, volunteering with the ASPCA and spending time with her twins, Madison and Levi.

  • Broker Associate
  • Certified Probate Real Estate Professional
  • Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES)
  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Video Marketing
  • Client Negotiations