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Posted on: August 12, 2020

City publishes plans for Accessory Dwelling Units

ADU floor plan

As Del Mar pivots to meet State housing requirements, the City has published three floor plans for accessory dwelling units.

The floor plans – one each for a studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom unit – adhere to State mandates and City codes.

Drawn by Stephen Dalton Architects, the plans are designed to jump-start planning for the additions.  The downloadable floor plans show a 446-square-foot studio; 793-square foot, one bedroom/one bathroom unit, and a 955-square-foot two bedroom/one bathroom unit. The plans and renderings do not include construction drawings.

Across California, State laws targeting housing shortages require local jurisdictions to simplify and speed up permitting for accessory units. Under the laws, plans for accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, are not subject to public hearings. Administrative approvals of completed applications must be finalized within 60 days. 

The laws limit Del Mar’s ability to enforce certain development requirements.

Authored to increase options for more affordable housing, one of the regulations exempts an ADU’s floor area from the lot’s floor area ratio limit.

Commonly called granny flats, ADUs in Del Mar can range from 850 to 1,000 square feet maximum with a maximum height of 16 feet. Additional guidelines cover “Junior ADUs” up to 500 square feet.

In Del Mar, an incentive program offers property owners a floor area bonus of 500 square feet in exchange for dedicating an accessory dwelling unit for 30 years as deed-restricted affordable housing.

Accessory units can provide independent lodgings for extended family or caregivers as well as a source of rental income for property owners. Del Mar’s housing goals envision a range of options and affordability that allow seniors and lower-income individuals to remain in the community. ADUs can move Del Mar toward reducing vehicle trips and greenhouse gas emissions.

Up and down California, State authorities have ordered cities to increase their housing stock.

Del Mar is in the midst of updating the Housing Element of its Community Plan. As part of the Housing Element Update, Del Mar must find capacity in its zoning to add 163 units across a range of affordability. ADUs can satisfy a portion of that requirement. 

ADU floor plans, application guidelines and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the City’s website.

Open the ADU Floor Plans webpage

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