The Nevada County Board of Supervisors approved changes to the county’s land use and development code Tuesday, Sept. 12, that could create more affordable housing opportunities by loosening restrictions for homeowners building accessory dwelling units.
The changes — approved unanimously by the supervisors — bring the county’s code into compliance with new state laws that took effect in January.
Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2299 are the state’s latest revisions to laws that govern the units.
The California Department of Housing and Community Development defines an accessory unit as “a secondary dwelling unit with complete independent living facilities for one or more persons,” which can be detached or attached from a primary residence, according to a memorandum.
Accessory units, the memorandum states, are “a unique opportunity to address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable housing options.”
Amendments approved by the supervisors Tuesday were a direct response to the senate and assembly bills, which made local government ordinances that were not in compliance with the state laws null and void.
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Major changes included increasing the maximum allowed size of an accessory unit to 50 percent of the size of the primary residence on the property — up from 30 percent — with the exception that the accessory unit can be no greater than 1,200 square feet, requiring only one parking space per bedroom for accessory units, requiring neither a separate utility connection nor fire sprinklers, and allowing homeowners to build the units on properties zoned for single-family residences.
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