Comments (13)

  1. Are Los Angeles county rules much different? I live in Little rock. I’m looking to place a couple of tiny hones on my property. Is this a possibility in LA county. Thanks for your help.

    1. Hi Russ. Good question. Even though the state has been pushing for the ADUs to take pressure off the local rents, Los Angeles City fought the more liberal changes till recently. The county allows ADUs, but because of the guideline variables, I recommend getting an architect familiar with your area (and the newest ADU parameters) to evaluate your specific property and see if the construction of the multiple structures are doable.

  2. Do you know what would be the concerns for a property in the coastal commission area? Specifically, Topanga Canyon. It’s tough to get permission to build anything there, but does this remove some of the difficulties now?

    1. As a generality many of the of the code/permitting issues to build AUDs in California/Los Angeles region have be eliminated or eased up… That said the Coastal Commission is dancing to their own song (difficult as you know), and if you’re dealing with septic tanks, that adds another layer of criteria. I recommend discussing your specific scenario with a “knowledgeable” residential architect that’s familiar with the commission and construction in the Santa Monica Mountains. Good luck.

  3. How about the unincorporated parts of Los Angeles? Do they have different rules on building a guess house or additions on an R1 lot? My house is in the city of Whittier but is part of LA county.

    1. Hi Jessi. Yes there a few differences between Los Angeles City and County’s approach to the ADU. It would be best to direct specific questions to an architect or the County’s Building and Safety department Good luck. Ron

  4. Thank you for the article, very infotmative. What do you think k would be the average cost of converting a garage? Also do you recommend where or how to start the process? Thank you again.

  5. Thank you for the article, very infotmative. What do you think would be the average cost of converting a garage? Also do you recommend where or how to start the process? Thank you again.

    1. Hi Gerald. Too many variables to ballpark a number on cost. Where is the existing plumbing/sewer located,etc… Best to talk to a sharp architect that’s knowledgeable about ADUs and is tied into the local Building and Safety. He should be able to convey what it’s going to take to build out the garage to meet gov’t requirements. At that point you can determine the viability of the project, and start the process with the plans being drawn, and getting the permits squared away. Let me know if you need anything additional. Good Luck Ron

  6. Very nice article.

    With an ADU in the City of Los Angeles, is parking on the front lawn allowed? Doesn’t a certain percentage of the front lawn need to remain unpaved?

    In other words, can a homeowner pave 100% of the front lawn now?

    1. Thanks Jeff. The city/state wants residential property owners to conserve water, so as long as you meet setback requirements, you can probably get a variance from Dept of Building & Safely to allow the paving. I recommend checking before paving…

  7. Hi Ron,

    I recently purchased a ~1,500 sq/ft home on a ~7,000 sq/ft lot 3 months ago in West Hills that already had an attached garage conversion with a kitchen and bathroom. The unit itself is ~360 sq/ft, has a separate entrance and is actually quite nice. My driveway also has space for 2 cars.

    I’d love to get this unit permitted so that I can start collecting some much needed rental income. What do you recommend I do? I’ve read the bill at least 3 times and can’t find any guidelines that my unit doesn’t satisfy. However, I am worried about being forced by the city to return the space back into a garage and/or pay huge fines. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you!

    1. Hi Lee

      I agree, I wouldn’t want to put the eyes of Building and Safety on it, till I evaluated it further. I recommend having an architect that’s cognizant of the newest AUD guidelines look it over. He/she should be able to tell you if it’ll met the criteria as is, or require modifications. You’ll need plans, etc drawn up before approaching Building and Safety. Even though the build-out was done previously, they are going to treat it as new construction. You’ll still have to pop for permits, and your property taxes will be adjusted for the value of the improvements, but that would be well worth the ability to “legally” rent the unit… plus an easier scenario if there was a fire or something that required use of your homeowners insurance policy. Good luck – Ron

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