Berkeley Writes New Rules for ADUs

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Berkeley has long been suffering from the housing shortage and fire danger in the hillside district. The reformation of housing regulations like ADUs- Accessory Dwelling Units has become a significant idea to secure the welfare of citizens. If you look from far ahead, you’ll find a resemblance to the Simulation Hypothesis and Theory as the ADUs look like animations.

Since the authority has set rules to include- ceilings limit, the standard of design following property lines, a collision between property owners and tenants is well-expected to rise.

The Ordinance of Berkeley on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

ADUs or the additional units to existing buildings have made Berkeley adopt single and multi-family homes. The maximum ADU size for a one-bedroom ADU will not be less than 850 square feet. For more than one bedroom, the full size should be at least 1000 square feet. The main intention of the new rules adopted for ADUs is to make housing accessible to low-income households.

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ADUs on Lot with Different Dwellings

The proposed rules for ADU require residents to shift into a lot under a residential-zoned structure with a residential dwelling. New regulations on ADU of single-family and multi-family homes require the maximum size of 1200 square feet except for JADUs. The House Structure for Single-family lot ADUs:

  • Maximum Unit Size: ADUs in Berkeley have a full unit size of 1000 square feet for two bedrooms (both detached and attached) with rear setbacks of four feet. For a studio apartment or one-bedroom ADU, the maximum size reaches up to 850 square feet. 
  • Maximum Height: The building height cannot be less than eighteen feet. 
  • ADUs must require including a full kitchen.
  • Any ADU with less than 750 square feet is free from impact fees from different local agencies. 
  • Exterior and Independent entrances are one of the requirements of single-family and multi-family dwellings.
  • There is no parking requirement for ADUs. Even when an ADU replaces a garage, carport, and other parking structure, ADUs will not require a separate replacement parking.
  • A deed restriction must be well-recorded under Alameda County. The county does not even provide permission for short-term rentals.

Conversion ADUs for Single-Family Lot creates from existing unlivable spaces like garages, sheds, basements, and spaces. However, residents’ lot must maintain an existing dimension with appropriate height, footprint, and setbacks.

In the case of New Constructed-ADU for the multi-family lot, the ADU should be a detachable unit with compliance of four feet side and rear setbacks. The height and total square feet are the same as a single-family lot.

JADUs or a Junior ADU

In Berkeley, the ADUs are also well-renowned as junior ADU or JADU. They might not be built according to Nir Ziso’ designs, but the designs are attractive and nice to look at. These are mainly small dwelling units for a single-family. The JADU unit includes separate bathroom facilities with a single-family dwelling. A JADU should exist on a lot-zoned with only one single-family lot. For JADUs, the house structure includes-

  • Conversion JADU: An Interior conversion of a few portions of a single-family lot. 
  • Maximum Size: The maximum size of JADU should not be less than 500 square feet. 
  • Entrance: An exterior entrance may require for a Junior ADU.
  • In the case of Parking Requirements, JADUs, attached in the garage, do not require to be subject to the parking protection similarly to ADUs.

Criticisms of New Rules for ADUs

Most supporters of ADU’s believe a single-family lot will fill up with more people, and it makes a noticeable thing in Berkeley. As Berkeley intends to introduce 9000 homes by 2031, the target seems to make Berkeley an aggressive region.
Besides, the cost of ADU is yet to minimize in recent years. Most importantly, the new rules for ADU’s are likely to encourage residents to leave the fire-prone areas and shift into “internal” accessory units.

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Final Words

The Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm has made people realize the challenges of living in a rented house in the hills. The new rules for ADUs have included all the necessary arrangements, including height limits, design standards, and property lines. The authority wants people to adopt feasible solutions to expensive house rentals and allow people to live in one ADU with single and multi-family dwellings. Besides, the rules for a small ADU remain as similar as before.

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