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New ADU Laws Increase Revenue Opportunities for Multifamily Owners

Accessory Dwelling Units have taken prominence in recent discussions due to new laws passed statewide and citywide. There are many guidelines regarding ADUs and garage conversions for multifamily properties.

Generally, all multifamily-zoned properties are allowed to construct one or more ADUs depending on their ordinance. Check out more specific zoning rules for Los Angeles here.

Zoning Regulations for ADUs

The city regulates construction Accessory Dwelling Units on multifamily properties based on specific property zoning rules. Each lot is deemed a maximum number of units based on the size of the lot. There is also a maximum FAR (floor-area-ratio) or RFA (residential floor area). If the number of units you already have is all that you are allowed on your lot, you may not be approved for constructing an ADU on your property.

Amount of Multifamily ADUs is Limited

According to city code, a multifamily property cannot add more than 25% of the existing number of units on site. So, for a duplex, triplex, or fourplex, you can only add one ADU, but if you had eight units on your property, you could add 2 ADUs if you are approved. This will still be limited by other guidelines of your property’s zoning.

Parking Rules

Los Angeles Building and Safety staff advise that the parking regulations for adding ADUs for multifamily homes should mimic parking regulations for single family home units. Currently, parking isn’t being required when you add an ADU if the property is within a half mile from a transit stop.

The rules and regulations for ADUs on multifamily properties are not as clear cut as they are for single family properties. These guidelines are relatively new to the city, meaning, for now, the laws are up to interpretation of the city staff members. Approvals are handled by administrators with the Building & Safety plancheck if you meet all zoning guidelines, meaning you can bypass planning department approvals. The first step on your ADU journey is to speak to an architect with prior multifamily ADU experience. The architect can tell you if your property would get approved to have an ADU.

To be 100% accurate, please contact a Zoning staff member. Call 311 and speak to a Zoning administrator to get the most information for your property. See the original article here.


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