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SB 9 & 10
Senate Bill (SB) 9
On September 16, 2021, the Governor signed Senate Bill 9, Atkins (SB9), which will take effect in all local jurisdictions on January 1, 2022.
What Does SB 9 Do?
SB 9 allows all properties within a “single-family residential zone” to be subdivided into two parcels and developed with two primary dwelling units per lot, irrespective of local standards. In essence, the law allows for two new types of development activities that must be reviewed ministerially without any discretionary action or public input.
- A Two-Unit Project allows the development of two primary dwelling units or, if there is already a primary dwelling unit on the lot, the development of a second primary dwelling unit on a legally subdivided lot.
- Urban Lot Splits or SB 9 Lot Splits allow for the subdivision of an existing legally subdivided lot into two lots regardless of the Town’s normal minimum lot size.
Generally, SB 9 will result in the potential creation of four dwelling units from an existing single-family parcel. In comparison, a single-family property is currently permitted three units: a single-family dwelling, an ADU, and a JADU.
Does the Project Qualify?
To qualify for ministerial approval under SB 9, the project must satisfy a number of qualifying criteria including, but not limited to the following:
|2-UNIT DEVELOPMENTS AND LOT SPLITS|
|Each lot must adjoin the public right-of-way and have frontage on the public right of way of at least 50 feet.|
Lot Coverage and Setbacks
|Each new primary dwelling unit must have at least one off-street parking space. unless exempt. No parking is required for projects that lie within a half-mile walking distance of a high-quality transit corridor or a major transit stop|
|Limitations on tree removal and required landscaping screening|
Use and Deed Restriction
|ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR LOT SPLITS|
|The applicant must sign an affidavit stating that the applicant intends to occupy one of the dwelling units on one of the resulting lots as the applicant's principal residence for a minimum of three years after the urban lot split is approved.|
Separate Conveyance Within a Lot:
|ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR 2-UNIT DEVELOPMENTS|
|Individual property owners must occupy one of the dwellings on the lot as the owners’ legal principal residence.|
Information contained in this summary is for general education and knowledge, but is not designed to be, and should not be used as, legal advice. Nor is it binding on the Town.
What Can the Town Do?
SB 9 is imposed by the State and there is no way for the Town to “opt-out” of the law. Local agencies may impose standards, but only objective zoning standards, objective subdivision standards and objective design standards. The Town may not impose any standard(s) that would:
- Physically preclude the construction of two units of less than 800 square feet each per property;
- Require larger minimum lot size than what is set forth in the statute; or
- Requiring onsite parking spaces for properties one-half mile walking distance of either a high-quality transit corridor or a major transit stop, or within one block of a car share vehicle.
What Is the Town Doing?
On December 13, 2021, the Town adopted an urgency ordinance amending the Hillsborough Municipal Code to impose objective development standards based on existing residential standards for building size, lot coverage, setbacks, and building heights (unless conflicting with SB9 mandated standards). The intention is to adopt basic standards prior to the SB 9 legislation taking effect on January 1, 2022.
- Urgency Ordinance Staff Report and Ordinance – December 13, 2021
What Are the Next Steps?
Beginning Spring 2022, the Town will proceed with the Housing Element Update process with substantial community engagement. As part of this effort, the Town will refine its SB 9 standards. This might involve additional or updated detailed objective design standards.
Senate Bill (SB) 10
California Senate Bill (SB) 10 allows (but does not require) local agencies to adopt an ordinance to allow up to 10 dwelling units on a parcel if the parcel is within a transit-rich area or urban infill site. The Town currently has no plan to adopt such an ordinance.