Planning Commission to Revisit Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Regulations

Planning Commission – May 7, 2020, 5:30PM
The City is getting one step closer to adopting new accessory dwelling unit (ADU) zoning regulations starting with this Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting.
The Planning Commission is required to update Irvine’s zoning code pertaining to accessory dwelling units (ADUs), to align with new California State laws that went into effect on January 1, 2020. An ADU is an attached or detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, and is located on the same parcel with a proposed or existing primary residence. In Irvine all ADUs or junior accessory dwelling units will be required to construct permanent facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, bathing, and sanitation facilities.
The Planning Commission is being asked to approve the City’s updated Zoning Ordinance and then will go before the City Council for final adoption. Here is a link to the Zoning Ordinance update which includes detailed information on the provisions for ADUs. As a charter City, Irvine does have the authority to regulate certain aspects and go above the State standards. The Commission identified issues related to  aesthetics and over expansion of existing dwelling units that resulted in the following recommendations:
  • Prohibit detached accessory dwelling units from having a loft, mezzanine, or second story.
  • All ADUs must match the primary units in color, design, use of materials, and all other architectural attributes, and be consistent with the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Require side and rear setbacks to be consistent with all current city codes and ordinances -to maintain privacy and neighborhood integrity.
Below is a table from the City staff report highlighting the significant changes that will be updated in the Zoning Code. This agenda item (item 4) has a public hearing. The public can submit comments to the Commission via e-comment, listen to the meeting by phone, and view the meeting on WebEx.