Wieckowski introduces new accessory dwelling unit bill for California homeowners

SB 13 follows up his previous successful bills on ADUs

December 3, 2018

SACRAMENTO – State Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) is renewing his effort to resolve part of the state’s housing crisis by introducing SB 13, a bill that would reduce development impact fees and eliminate other barriers  for homeowners who want to construct accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property. In addition to impact fees, other remaining barriers to ADU construction include owner-occupancy requirements, ADU permit reviews, and setbacks.

“Today’s the beginning of the 2019-2020 session and a new opportunity for the Legislature to take significant action to address our housing shortage,” said Wieckowski, the author of 2016’s SB 1069, which has led to statewide increases in ADU permit applications. “The simple truth about our housing crisis is we are not building enough homes for Californians in part because we are preventing Californians from building homes on their properties. If we treat ADUs as improvements to the main dwelling and allow residents to use excess space for housing, more Californians will have a place to call home. Lowering impact fees is just one of the many ways we can help resolve the crippling crisis confronting our state that is forcing more people into homelessness. This is a fair, fiscally-responsible way to add more affordable housing.”

Working with the Bay Area Council, Wieckowski built a large coalition of supporters in 2016 and 2017 to pass SB 1069 and SB 229.  Since then, ADU permit applications have skyrocketed in many California cities and increased 67 percent across the state. The bills reduced burdensome restrictions, including parking requirements that had previously caused many homeowners to drop plans to construct units on their properties.

A 2017 report by the University of California’s Terner Center of Housing Innovation stated that development fees are one factor preventing the construction of ADUs. The Terner Center found that fee waivers spurred ADU development in Portland, a city with a large number of ADUs.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th Senate District, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County