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17 organizations ask Supervisors to revise 2nd unit regulations to protect public safety

**If your organization would like to endorse Sustainable TamAlmonte's letter referenced below, then please notify Sustainable TamAlmonte by sending an email to: executivecommittee@tamalmonte.org

On October 4th, Sustainable TamAlmonte et al. sent the following letter to the Marin County Board of Supervisors asking them to reconsider and revise the Marin County Development Code Amendments pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), which the Supervisors adopted on January 26, 2021.

There are various advantages to adding an accessory dwelling unit or second unit to a home. For homeowners, the extra unit can provide additional income, support family members such as adult children or aging parents and house on-site caregivers. In addition, the units may provide additional affordable housing, although this is not guaranteed. When local jurisdictions craft careful accessory dwelling unit ordinances, these second units can fit seamlessly into an established community.

However, Marin County’s new second unit regulations went too far.

The below letter demonstrates that Marin County’s newly adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations endanger communities in the Wildland Urban Interface, High Fire Hazard Zones, Very High Fire Hazard Zones, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Constrained Areas with inadequate and unsafe access and evacuation routes in the event of a fire or other emergency. It also shows that the new ADU regulations would likely result in significant adverse environmental impacts on streams and wetlands. Furthermore, the letter gives the Supervisors recommendations on how to protect public health and safety, preserve the environment, and allow safe ADUs, while abiding by State law.

Sustainable TamAlmonte’s letter is endorsed by the following highly respected Marin organizations:

1.Almonte District Improvement Club;

2.Almonte Sanitary District;

3.De Silva Island Homeowners Association;

4.Golden Gate Village Resident Council;

5.Los Ranchitos Improvement Association;

6.Marin Against Density;

7.Marin City Community Services District;

8.Responsible Growth in Marin;

9.Seminary Neighborhood Association;

10. Strawberry Community Association;

11. Sustainable Homestead;

12. Sustainable Ross Valley;

13. Tamalpais Design Review Board;

14. Tam Valley Improvement Club;

15. Watershed Alliance of Marin;

16. Women Helping All People.

**If your organization would like to endorse Sustainable TamAlmonte's below letter, then please notify Sustainable TamAlmonte by sending an email to: executivecommittee@tamalmonte.org

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Dear Marin County Board of Supervisors,

Please place public health and safety over and above state-mandated housing and reconsider your decisions regarding the Development Code Amendments pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). It has long been recognized that Marin’s greatest environmental hazard is wildfire. Yet, the revised and newly adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations endanger communities in the Wildland Urban Interface, High Fire Hazard Zones, Very High Fire Hazard Zones, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Constrained Areas with inadequate and unsafe access and evacuation routes in the event of a fire or other emergency. This is a matter of life or death and should be rectified as soon as possible.

Moreover, the new Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations will result in significant adverse environmental impacts on streams and wetlands, since ADUs are now allowed, with only four-foot rear and side setbacks, on properties in Environmentally Sensitive Areas, which include Stream Conservation Areas (SCAs) and Wetland Conservation Areas (WCAs). At a time when the existential threats from Climate Change are real, protection of our natural resources is more vital than ever.

**Please note that this letter is endorsed by 16 Marin organizations, listed in APPENDIX I.

This letter addresses the following:

Section I: Responses To Questions, Comments, & Actions Made By the Supervisors At The January 26th Public Hearing

Section II: Recommendations

Section III: Background

Section IV: Concerns: Cumulative Adverse Impacts Of Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations On Public Safety & The Environment

Section V: High Fire Risk Communities And Hazardous Roadways In Marin County Are Already Well Documented

Section VI: Marin County Can Legally Prohibit All Categories Of Accessory Dwelling Units In Designated Areas

Section VII: Conclusion

APPENDIX I: Endorsements

APPENDIX II: Other Jurisdictions’ Ordinances, Municipal Codes, And Development Codes That Prohibit All Categories Of Accessory Dwelling Units

APPENDIX III: Planning Commission’s Recommendations For ADU Regulations

I. RESPONSES TO QUESTIONS, COMMENTS, & ACTIONS MADE BY THE SUPERVISORS AT THE JANUARY 26TH PUBLIC HEARING

A. Overturning The Planning Commission’s Protections Is Contrary To Protecting Public Health & Safety And The Environment

At the January 26th public hearing, your Board overturned almost all the protections that the Planning Commission had added to the County’s Development Code Amendments regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The safeguards would have helped to thwart further deterioration of inadequate emergency access and evacuation routes in high fire risk areas caused by unsafe ADUs as well as protect Environmentally Sensitive Areas.

Potentially, you may revisit the ADU regulations after a future road safety study by the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority is finished. This study is slated to be completed in a year to 18 months. However, the County has often fallen behind by many years or never completed studies and plans that it stated it would prepare, particularly when there isn’t a State law binding them to such completion.

This is contrary to protecting public health and safety and the environment. Rather than removing protections, the prudent course would be to immediately adopt at least the protections recommended by the Planning Commission for the time being (even though these protections were proven to be insufficient by Sustainable TamAlmonte’s letter, dated January 17, 2021, to you). We also recommend immediately applying the same protections to the Seminary, which is in a High Fire Hazard Zone but not in the Wildland Urban Interface. Then, after the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority’s study is completed, ADU restrictions can be added or subtracted as deemed appropriate by the local Fire Protection Districts.

B. The Planning Commission’s Recommendations Are Consistent With State Law

On January 26th, two Supervisors asked whether or not the Planning Commission’s recommendations were consistent with State law. Based on the findings of other jurisdictions’ legal counsels, Marin County can legally designate where all categories of Accessory Dwelling Units may and may not be located. In Section VI of this letter, we present evidence of this legal capability.

C. The Planning Commission’s Recommendations Would Allow ADUs To Satisfy The County’s RHNA

Regarding your goal of fulfilling the County’s Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA), we wish to point out that the Planning Commission’s recommendations allowed Accessory Dwelling Units throughout the entire County, including hazardous high fire risk areas, provided safety standards were met.

The Planning Commission’s recommended protections prohibited ministerial (automatic), “by right” approval of all categories of ADUs at properties located in Environmentally Sensitive Areas and at properties on roadways with less than 20-feet-wide paved surface, which are also located in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) or in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (VHFHSZ). However, a homeowner could have still applied for a Category 4 Accessory Dwelling Unit permit at the high fire risk locations and sought a variance or waiver of the prohibition, which could have been granted if the local Fire Protection District determined that adequate emergency access and evacuation routes would be provided.

Do you really want more housing, more population, and more vehicles parked on roadways where it has been expertly determined by the local Fire Protection District that emergency access and evacuation routes are inadequate and unsafe?

What good is additional housing if it endangers not only the inhabitants of the new housing but also the existing residents living in the surrounding neighborhood?

D. We Look Forward To Helping You Lower The County’s Unprecedented RHNA & Find Sustainable Solutions To Meeting The True Housing Needs Of All Marin’s Constituents

We analyzed the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Methodology and compiled a number of strategies on how to lower the County’s unprecedented RHNA, which we have shared with you. In addition, we look forward to helping you find sustainable solutions to meeting the true housing needs of all Marin’s constituents, including lower-income households.

II. RECOMMENDATIONS

A. Immediately Revise The Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations & Reinstate Protections

Place “Marin County Development Code Amendments pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units” on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda immediately, reinstate the protections against dangerous Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) that were recommended by the Planning Commission, and, in addition, apply the protections to the Seminary (which is in a High Fire Hazard Zone but is not in the Wildland Urban Interface). (**The Planning Commission’s recommended ADU regulations are copied in APPENDIX III of this letter.)

Suggested wording (in green):

If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone, a very high fire hazard severity zone, or the Seminary, then the property must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the property to an arterial street or highway. However, this standard shall not applv when the Marin County Fire Department or the responsible local fire protection district determines that adequate emergency access and evacuation routes will be provided.

B. Refine The Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations After The Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority Study Is Completed

After the Marin Wildfire Prevention Authority’s study is completed, the Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations can be amended and ADU restrictions can be added or subtracted as deemed appropriate by the local Fire Protection Districts. We have other suggestions on how to improve the ADU regulations too.

C. Immediately Assign Funding & Resources To Plan And Implement Road Improvements And Parking Restrictions

In addition to revising ADU regulations, it is incumbent that the County assign funding and resources to plan and implement road improvements and parking restrictions for safe emergency access and evacuation. Similar to the safety regulations recently adopted by the City of San Rafael [1], such measures should include: 1) Creating a Marin County Parking Authority to issue parking tickets; 2) Painting parking boxes that show where vehicles can and cannot park; 3) Painting curbs red for no parking where appropriate; 4) Installing “No Parking” signs where appropriate; and 4) Eliminating parking on one side or both sides of streets, depending on the width of the paved roadway, in order to comply with the local Fire Protection District’s roadway standard and minimum unobstructed clearance. [2]

III. BACKGROUND

The County’s newly adopted Development Code Amendments incorporate the new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) legislation (SB-13, AB-881, & AB-68), which was enacted in 2019.

There are various advantages to adding an accessory dwelling unit or second unit to a home. For homeowners, the extra unit can provide additional income, support family members such as adult children or aging parents and house on-site caregivers. In addition, the units may provide additional affordable housing, although this is not guaranteed. When local jurisdictions craft careful accessory dwelling unit ordinances, these second units can fit seamlessly into an established community.

However, the County’s new ADU regulations have gone too far. The regulations fail to utilize “The Remedy” (described in Section VI of this letter) and instead, fully implement the State’s new ADU legislation, which requires ministerial review and strips away local control, local development standards, community engagement, and environmental review related to second units.

IV. CONCERNS

We wish to emphasize the importance of considering the cumulative impacts of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in a community, particularly a community in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), High Fire Hazard Zones, Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones, Environmentally Sensitive Areas, and/or Constrained Areas.

A. About California Government Code § 65852.2 “Land Use: Accessory Dwelling Units”, Which Incorporates Newly Enacted Legislation - SB-13, AB-881, and AB-68

All the new ADU legislation, which was enacted in 2019 (Senate Bill-13, Assembly Bill-881, and Assembly Bill-68), has been incorporated into California Government Code § 65852.2 “Land Use: Accessory Dwelling Units” [3].

In Unincorporated areas that are not exempted by Marin County via “The Remedy”, Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations will follow provisions mandated by California Government Code § 65852.2 .

California Government Code § 65852.2 requires jurisdictions to "ministerially" approve a permit application for building one Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) (which can be detached) and one Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) in addition to the primary residence, for a total of 3 housing units per lot in single family zones. Moreover, the statute allows owners of multifamily housing complexes to build, “by right”, multiple Accessory Dwelling Units (up to 25% of the total existing legal units). It also greatly relaxes or eliminates local ADU development standards (E.g. parking, size requirements, setbacks, etc.) and limits on lot coverage and Floor Area Ratios (FAR).

Categories 1, 2, and 3 ADUs in the Marin County Development Code represent ADUs described in Gov. Code § 65852.2. These are undesirable ADUs because they follow state-mandated regulations rather than local regulations.

B. Categories 1, 2, and 3 Accessory Dwelling Units in the Marin County Development Code

1. Category 1 ADUs

Category 1 Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) represent what is known as “Subdivision (e) of California Government Code § 65852.2. Category 1 ADUs are now allowed everywhere in Unincorporated Marin, including in Environmentally Sensitive Areas (Wetlands Conservation Areas (WCA) & Stream Conservation Areas (SCA)), the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), High Fire Hazard Zones, and Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones. This type of ADU does not need an ADU permit, just a building permit to determine compliance.

Category 1 requires ministerial approval, without discretionary review or a hearing, and allows a homeowner, in single-family neighborhoods, to build, “by right”, a new detached backyard Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) up to 800-square-feet, 16-feet-high, with only four-foot side and rear setbacks. This is in addition to the homeowner being able to convert a room within the single-family residence into a third living space (Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit - JADU). The new ADU could also be a converted garage, office or spare room. The size of the new ADU can be over and above the existing allowable square footage (AKA Floor Area Ratio - FAR) for the primary home.

In addition, California Government Code § 65852.2 prohibits Marin County from imposing any parking requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units, including Category 1 ADUs, in any of the following instances:

(1)The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit. (**“Public Transit” means a bus stop, train station, or ferry terminal.)

(2)The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.

(3)The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.

(4)When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.

(5)When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.

**Excerpt from CA Gov. Code § 65852.2: “ ‘Public transit’ means a location, including, but not limited to, a bus stop or train station, where the public may access buses, trains, subways, and other forms of transportation that charge set fares, run on fixed routes, and are available to the public.”

Therefore, parking requirements are precluded in almost all scenarios. If a garage is converted to a dwelling unit, then there is no requirement for additional off-street parking to be provided. The result would be absolutely no off-street parking for the ADU, JADU and the main single-family home. All residents would have to park on the street.

Furthermore, Category 1 allows owners of multifamily housing complexes to build, “by right”, multiple Accessory Dwelling Units (up to 25% of the total existing legal units) in the existing legal building area of a multi-family dwelling that are not conditioned to be habitable, such as boiler rooms, storage rooms, passageways, attics, basements, and garages. Again, any off-street parking which is lost due to being converted to ADUs is not required to be replaced.

2. Category 2 ADUs and Category 3 ADUs

Category 2 ADUs and Category 3 ADUs are allowed everywhere in Unincorporated Marin, except not in Environmentally Sensitive Areas and not on roadways with less than 20-feet-wide of paved surface in Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones.

Categories 2 and 3 are very similar to Category 1 except for the size of the Accessory Dwelling Units and the fact that they require an Accessory Dwelling Unit permit (Category 1 only needs a building permit).

Category 2 & Category 3 require ministerial approval, without discretionary review or a hearing, and allow a homeowner, in single-family neighborhoods, to build, “by right”, a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) up to 800 sq. ft. or 850 sq. ft. for one-bedroom units and up to 1000 sq. ft. or 1200 sq. ft. for two-bedroom units. This is in addition to the homeowner being able to convert a room within the single-family residence into a third living space (Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit - JADU).

Category 2 ADUs and Category 3 ADUs may exceed the allowable lot density (Floor Area Ratio - FAR of the primary home), be 16 feet high, and have minimum side and rear setbacks of only four feet.

Moreover, per California Government Code § 65852.2, parking requirements are precluded in almost all scenarios. If a garage is converted to a dwelling unit, then there is no requirement for additional off-street parking to be provided. The result would be absolutely no off-street parking for the ADU, JADU and the main single-family home. All residents would have to park on the street.

C. Cumulative Adverse Impacts

1. Marin County’s New ADU Regulations Endanger Communities At High Threat of Wildfire

Please imagine the cumulative adverse impacts over time if most homes in a community add on one ADU that exceeds the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and one Junior ADU and eliminate all off-street parking. As the ADUs, housing density and population increase (potentially more than doubling the population), neighborhoods will become even more congested with vehicles parked on both sides of the streets. Now imagine the community to be in the Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), a High Fire Hazard Zone, a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, and/or a Constrained Area. Dire consequences could result during an emergency when residents are unable to evacuate and fire trucks/paramedics are unable to reach their destinations.

2. Marin County’s New ADU Regulations Remove Protections from Environmentally Sensitive Areas And Thereby Further Endanger Public Health And Safety, And Imperil Habitat And Wildlife, Including Special Status Species

By removing protections from Environmentally Sensitive Areas, which include Stream Conservation Areas (SCAs) and Wetland Conservation Areas (WCAs), Marin County’s new Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations further endanger public health and safety, and imperil habitat and wildlife, including special status species.

There will be direct and long-term public health and safety threats that will occur when removing stream conservation, wetlands and floodplain protections by allowing ADU and JADU buildout in these areas and on hillsides. These issues are not addressed and instead, exempted, and with ministerial approvals will put entire communities in greater jeopardy from landslides, drought, fire threat and flooding.

Inadequately addressed environmental constraints that will affect subsurface and surface hydraulics and overall impacts on watershed health and ecosystem services is highly problematic. The County’s new ADU regulations will directly impact future stream geomorphology evolution necessary for aquatic species survival, clean water and public safety.

When floodplain lands that used to be the “sponge” for slow-release year-round are hardened, stream flows and thus aquatic species and ecologic integrity are damaged, and many highly adverse impacts are known to occur. Flooding is exacerbated and intensified as infiltration of stormwater is stymied. The watershed becomes drier and more flammable.

Land that has become impermeable from structures and paving is deprived of groundwater recharge at a time when the State of California is pushing forth significant legislation for groundwater sequestration for the future sustainability of the State. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/feb/27/california-groundwater-sgma-law-what-does-it-mean

The County’s new ADU regulations contradict the County’s and State’s policies to protect and enhance natural systems while addressing Climate Change impacts. http://waterresilience.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/California-Water-Resilience-Portfolio-2019-Final2.pdf P. 81.

In the midst of direct and indirect effects from Climate Change, the new ADU regulations’ preclusion of protections for stream buffers (riparian), groundwater, wetlands and flood plains will result in the following adverse impacts:

  1. Drying out of surrounding vegetation increases catastrophic fire risk;
  2. Increased illegal diversions as residents attempt to irrigate their landscapes;
  3. Water affordability and supply issues;
  4. Water scarcity;
  5. Limited drought readiness;
  6. Challenges to groundwater management;
  7. Loss of aquatic habitat leads to loss of ecosystem vitality;
  8. Increased heat island effect compounds Green House Gas Emissions from excessive vegetation removal;
  9. Loss of holistic diversity of beneficial plant communities, fungi and species improving soils foundational to plant and animal health;
  10. Decreases in overall vegetation moisture content and tree rain accumulations from large tree removals;
  11. Depletion of groundwater leading to subsidence and increased vulnerability to Sea Level Rise;
  12. Fragmentation of Riparian and wildlife corridors necessary for biodiversity and ecosystem services;
  13. The riparian zone currently protected in most jurisdiction by strict setbacks, is required to protect people, property and wildlife from floods;
  14. Irreparable damage to the structural integrity of the evolved stream morphology within a specific watershed will result - E.g. head-cutting, erosion, down-cutting, incision, siltation and sediment;
  15. Widescale level harm to the majority of wildlife reliant upon intact riparian and watershed systems; aquatic, avian and terrestrial species;
  16. Loss of soil biota that cleans and treats toxins in stormwater and maintains plant health and healthy plant moisture levels;
  17. Increased fire threat from fragmentation and decreased groundwater supply in the dry season;
  18. Increased hazards from landslides and flooding from groundwater and surface water diversions and refutation of needed geo-hydrologic studies;
  19. Loss of cool groundwater and hyporheic action leading to mass extinctions within streams during dry season;
  20. Augmentation and diminishment of stream habitat, water supply and water quality;
  21. A 10 percent reduction in permeability on a landscape will have adverse hydraulic consequences. Calculating build out should indicate exponential negative consequences to the landscape, fire and flood risk;
  22. Loss of landscape-wide permeability for year-round flows and groundwater recharge;
  23. Loss of natural protections from polluted urban run-off leading to impaired water quality;
  24. Overall depletion of drinking water supplied by two Marin water agencies;
  25. Makes vulnerable floodplain protections necessary for extreme flood event augmentation;
  26. Prevents natural migration of streams, sediments and substrate instream to create spawning habitat for anadromous fish.

From recently historic building patterns in Marin communities, we have already seen and suffered many of the above consequences. This evidence shows that increased inappropriate building will only increase all of the threat factors.

These environmental threats are exacerbated by the fact that the ADUs are exempt from review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As a result, cost analysis of environmental damage, restoration and ecosystem wide service losses will not be calculated, and developers will be released from mitigating environmental impacts and harm to property and public safety. Instead, Marin County and local residents will have to pay the mitigation costs and suffer the consequences of unavoidable impacts.

On a grander scale, there are over 61,000 single family homes in Marin. Imagine the cumulative impacts for the entire County.

V. HIGH FIRE RISK COMMUNITIES AND HAZARDOUS ROADWAYS IN MARIN COUNTY ARE ALREADY WELL DOCUMENTED

There is already tremendous information about the location and severity ratings of Marin County communities at high fire risk. What constitutes hazardous roadways is also well documented. There is no reason to wait for another study to protect “At Risk” communities.

A. Homes And Structures In And Around The Wildland Urban Interface Have Already Been Determined To Be At High Risk For Fire

The Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (Page 2) states;Approximately 60,000 acres—18% of the county’s land area—falls within the wildland urban interface (WUI) where residences (i.e., homes and structures) are intermixed with open space and wildland vegetation. A recent assessment by the Marin County Fire Department (MCFD) revealed that there are approximately 69,000 living units valued at $59 billion within the WUI (Marin County Fire

Department, 2015). Because of the mix and density of structure and natural fuels combined with limited access and egress routes, fire management becomes more complex in WUI environments. In Marin County specifically, many of the access roads within the WUI are narrow and winding and are often on hillsides with overgrown vegetation, making it even more difficult and costly to reduce fire hazards, fight wildfires, and protect homes and lives in these areas.” [4]

The Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (Page 13) states; “Homes and structures located anywhere in and around the WUI are at a higher risk for exposure to wildland fire. Fire can spread rapidly throughout WUI areas through adjacent structures and/or vegetation, or by ember dispersion.” [5]

Link to the “Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan”:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx15pyv0JoJZZ0tVR1pXOV9vTGRQVTRrQWxER0VOeVQxd2xz/view

Link to the interactive map entitled; “Marin County Wildlands Urban Interface (WUI) & Evacuation Routes”:

https://marincounty.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=688f506cfb144067826bb35a062b0f0a

B. An Assessment of Communities At Risk Has Already Been Completed

An independent hazard, asset, risk assessment was performed in 2016 to help identify and prioritize areas within the county that are potentially at a high threat from wildfire based on recent fuels data, advanced modeling techniques, and local input. The Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (Page 67) [6] summarizes the results of this assessment and the relative rankings by community and areas of concern in Table 15.

Marin-Community-Wildfire-Protection-Plan-Table-15-A.png

Marin-Community-Wildfire-Protection-Plan-Table-15-B.png

C. What Constitutes A Hazardous Roadway In Terms Of Fire Access And Protection Has Already Been Determined

1. Information from the Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan:

The Marin Community Wildfire Protection Plan (Page 15) states; Narrow paved widths and limited on-street parking create access issues. “According to the California Fire Code specifications, roadways that are considered hazardous in terms of fire access and protection are those with:

Driveways that are less than 16 feet wide or that do not have adequate turnaround space are also considered hazardous.

A large number of roadways and driveways in many of Marin County’s communities fall into one or more of the above categories.” [7]

2. Information From Fire Marshall/ Division Chief Fred Hilliard, Southern Marin Fire District:

Unobstructed Paved Roadway Requirements:

Fire Marshall Fred Hilliard informed Sustainable TamAlmonte that the following unobstructed paved roadway widths are needed for 9-feet-and-8-inch-wide fire trucks to make the following maneuvers.

VI. MARIN COUNTY CAN LEGALLY PROHIBIT ALL CATEGORIES OF ADUs IN DESIGNATED AREAS

Other jurisdictions’ legal counsels do not agree with Marin County’s legal counsel, which believes that Government Code § 65852.2 (e) does not allow the County of Marin to designate areas within Unincorporated Marin where Category 1 Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) may and may not be permitted.

**Please note that, at the January 26th Board of Supervisors’ public hearing, Marin County’s legal counsel confirmed that the County can legally designate where Categories 2, 3, and 4 ADUs may and may not be permitted.

A. “THE REMEDY” - CA Government Code § 65852.2 Allows/Requires Jurisdictions To Designate Where All Categories of ADUs May And May NOT Be Permitted

California Government Code § 65852.2 provides a remedy for the impact of Accessory Dwelling Units on traffic flow and public safety. Government Code § 65852.2 (a) requires Marin County to designate where Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) may and may NOT be permitted.

SECTION 65852.2 of the Government Code:

(a) (1) A local agency may, by ordinance, provide for the creation of accessory dwelling units in areas zoned to allow single-family or multifamily use. The ordinance shall do all of the following:

(A) Designate areas within the jurisdiction of the local agency where accessory dwelling units may be permitted. The designation of areas may be based on the adequacy of water and sewer services and the impact of accessory dwelling units on traffic flow and public safety.”

B. Many Jurisdictions Have Adopted ADU Ordinances That Prohibit All Categories Of ADUs In Certain Hazardous Areas

We are aware of five other jurisdictions (LA County, LA City, Larkspur, Corte Madera, & La Verne) that have adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinances that prohibit all categories of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in certain hazardous areas. Therefore, their legal counsels must have determined that they can legally do so. And, most likely, there are additional jurisdictions, which have also prohibited ADUs in hazardous locations, that we don’t know about yet. **Please see APPENDIX II for copies of the “Restricted or Prohibited Areas” sections of the above referenced jurisdictions’ ADU ordinances.

Local-Ordinances-That-Prohibit-Or-Limit-ADUs.png

VHFHSZ”: Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone

WUI”: Wildlands Urban Interface

C. Ambiguity In The Language And Intent Of CA Government Code § 65852.2 Allows A Jurisdiction To Designate Where ADUs May And May NOT Be Permitted

We have communicated with Larkspur Planning Director Neal Toft, Los Angeles County Regional Planning Director Amy Bodek, and Los Angeles County Regional Planner Zoe Axelrod.

They stated that they found ambiguities in the language and intent of the State ADU legislation. Therefore, they followed Gov. Code Section 65852.2 (a), which states that a local jurisdiction’s ADU ordinance shall designate where ADUs may and may not be permitted, based on the adequacy of water and sewer services and the impact of ADUs on traffic flow and public safety.

Via email, Sharon Rushton specifically asked LA County Regional Planner Zoe Axelrod if they had concerns re: Gov. Code Section 65852.2 (e)

Regional Planner Axelrod responded; “We feel there is ambiguity, and our ordinance is based on our reading and interpretation of the statute.

D. California Health And Safety Code Section 13869.7 May Provide Another Possible Legal Avenue

As stated above, based on our communications with other jurisdictions’ Planning Directors, we believe that CA Government Code § 65852.2, by itself, not only legally allows but requires Marin County to designate where all ADUs may and may not be permitted. However, we believe there are other legal grounds for doing so also.

Although we need the advice of an attorney for confirmation, we believe there may be an additional legal way for Marin County to protect residents. This would involve Fire Protection Districts within Marin County.

California Health and Safety Code Sec. 13869.7 states:

“(a) Any fire protection district organized pursuant to Part 2.7 of Division 12 may adopt building standards relating to fire and panic safety that are more stringent than those building standards adopted by the State Fire Marshall and contained in the California Building Standards Code.” …

Therefore, potentially, County Staff could work with the Marin Fire Districts and follow resultant Marin Fire District Code Building Standards that require ADUs to: 1) Have adequate and safe ingress and egress routes; 2) Provide sufficient off-street parking; 3) Abide by the local Floor Area Ratio for the property; and 4) Follow local setbacks.

VII. CONCLUSION

This is a matter of life or death. We urge you to place public health and safety over and above state-mandated housing and reconsider your decisions regarding the Development Code Amendments pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). It has long been recognized that Marin’s greatest environmental hazard is wildfire. Yet, the County’s newly adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations endanger communities in the Wildland Urban Interface, High Fire Hazard Zones, Very High Fire Hazard Zones, Environmentally Sensitive Areas and Constrained Areas with inadequate and unsafe access and evacuation routes in the event of a fire or other emergency. Please rectify this as soon as possible by following our above recommendations.

**Please note that this letter is endorsed by 16 Marin organizations, listed in APPENDIX I.

Thank you in advance for your conscientious consideration.

Very truly yours,

/s/

Sharon Rushton, President

Sustainable TamAlmonte


APPENDIX I

Endorsements

This letter is endorsed by the following Marin organizations:

1.Almonte District Improvement Club

2.Almonte Sanitary District

3.De Silva Island Homeowners Association

4.Golden Gate Village Resident Council

5.Los Ranchitos Improvement Association

6.Marin Against Density

7.Marin City Community Services District

8.Responsible Growth in Marin

9.Seminary Neighborhood Association

10.Strawberry Community Association

11.Sustainable Homestead

12.Sustainable Ross Valley

13.Tamalpais Design Review Board

14.Tam Valley Improvement Club

15.Watershed Alliance of Marin

16.Women Helping All People

APPENDIX II

Ordinances, Municipal Codes, and Development Codes

re: Prohibiting Accessory Dwelling Units

LOS ANGELES COUNTY

LA County Ordinance Pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units

Amy J. Bodek, AICP, Director of Regional Planning, LA County: (213) 974-6384

abodek@planning.lacounty.gov

zoningldcc@planning.lacounty.gov

Link to LA County Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance - Archive:

https://planning.lacounty.gov/view/adu_archive

Link to LA County Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance:

https://planning.lacounty.gov/assets/upl/project/adu_certified.pdf

This ordinance amends the Los Angeles County Code, Title 22 – Planning and Zoning to establish new development standards and case procession procedures for accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.

This ordinance was adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the County of Los Angeles on October 13, 2020 and was effective on November 12, 2020.

Summary of Prohibited Areas: In order to promote public health and safety in fire-prone areas, the County’s previous ADU Ordinance prohibited the construction of new ADUs, and the conversion of existing spaces to ADUs, within VHFHSZs with substandard roads and limited access. The proposed Ordinance further clarifies the language in the previous ordinance by requiring two distinct means of access not overlapping with each other, as measured from the lot frontage to the point of intersection with a highway. Each means of access must contain pavement of at least 24 feet in width, exclusive of sidewalks, if the lot is located in a VHFHSZ and a Hillside Management Area (HMA). For lots that are located in a VHFHSZ and not an HMA, the two distinct means of access may include unpaved roads of at least 24 feet in width maintained by Public Works. The proposed Ordinance also allows ADUs and JADUs on lots with a single means of access if such lots front onto a highway and vehicles enter directly from the highway.

Link to LA County Staff Report re: ADU Ordinance:

https://planning.lacounty.gov/assets/upl/project/adu_board-letter.pdf

ORDINANCE NO. 2020-0059

Page 14 Section 12. – Section 22.140.640 Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units.

Page 15

“C. Prohibited Areas.

1. Accessory dwelling units and junior accessory dwelling units shall be prohibited in the following areas:

a. On lots that are located in the areas between Old Topanga Canyon Road, the Coastal Zone boundary, the City of Calabasis, and the City of Los Angeles, and

b. On lots that are located in the Santa Monica Mountains North Area and only have vehicular access from Lobo Canyon Road or Triunfo Canyon Road.

2. Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.

a. Where a lot, or any portion thereof, is located within a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, as depicted in the General Plan, and a Hillside Management Area, as depicted in the General Plan, other than those described in Section 22.104.030.D, an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit shall be prohibited on the lot, unless it has two distinct means of vehicular access to a highway that meet the following requirements:

i. The two distinct means of vehicular access, as measured from the lot frontage to the point of intersection with a highway, shall not overlap with each other. For Example, see Figure 22.140.6540.-A, below;

ii. Each distinct means of vehicular access shall contain pavement of at least 24 feet in width, exclusive of sidewalks; and

iii. Each distinct means of access shall be built of public street standards approved by Public Works.

b. Where a lot or any portion thereof is located within a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone and is not located within a Hillside Management Area, an accessory dwelling unit or a junior accessory dwelling unit shall be prohibited on the lot, unless it has two distinct means of vehicular access from the lot to a highway that meet the requirements in Subsection C.2.a, above, except that the means of vehicular access may include an unpaved road of at least 24 feet in width maintained by Public Works.”

The Los Angeles County ordinance includes the following section:

“L. To the extent that any provision of this Title 22 is in conflict with law sections 65852.2 or 6582.22 of the California Government Code, the applicable provision of the State law shall control, but all other provisions of this Title 22 shall remain in full force and effect.”

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TOWN OF CORTE MADERA

Town of Corte Madera’s Municipal Code pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units

Corte Madera's Municipal Code Sections 18.18.400 - 18.18.425 "limit the number of ADUs within a substantial portion of Christmas Tree Hill to avoid jeopardizing the safety of persons residing in the area related to traffic flow, fire hazards and emergency evacuation, and infrastructure capacity." - Corte Madera Municipal Code 18.18.405 (3) (K) - Ordinance 993

https://www.townofcortemadera.org/DocumentCenter/View/5170/Ord-993

"18.31.110 – ADUs & JADUs in the Christmas Tree Hill Overlay District.

Sections 18.18.400 – 18.18.425 of the Municipal Code establishes limits on the number of ADUs and JADUs that can be created within portions of the Christmas Tree Hill Overlay Zone District. These limitations are in place because of the public safety issues that arise related to fire hazards and evacuation routes due to the unique physical constraints on Christmas Tree Hill. The combined number of ADUs and JADUs in the ADU capacity districts of Christmas Tree Hill is limited to ten percent of the total number of primary residential units. The total combined number of ADUs and JADUs in the ADU capacity zones in Christmas Tree Hill Overlay District shall not exceed the total number permitted by Sections 18.18.405(3)(K) and 18.18.410 of this title."

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CITY OF LARKSPUR

City of Larkspur's Municipal Code pertaining to "Restricted Areas" for Accessory Dwelling Units - Municipal Code 18.23.040.

Link to the Larkspur Municipal Code 18.23.040:

https://larkspur.municipal.codes/Code/18.23.040

“Due to the City’s unique local climatic, geologic and topographic conditions, accessory dwelling units are not permitted in certain hillside residential areas that are determined to have inadequate roadways to provide adequate ingress and egress for emergency access and evacuation in the event of a fire or other emergency. It is the determination of the City that additional dwelling units in these areas would present negative impact on traffic flow and public safety.

A. New accessory dwelling units are not permitted in very high fire hazard severity zones, per Larkspur Municipal Code Section 14.10.010, where the primary access to the property is on roadways that are subject to constrained ingress/egress for emergency vehicles and resident evacuation. In determining which areas are subject to constrained ingress/egress, the City identified areas that are served by a single emergency access route (no alternate routes) meeting one or more of the following criteria:

1. Streets with limited width, where permitted on-street parking is strictly limited to designated locations with white outlined parking space rectangles.

2. Streets with insufficient roadway width. A minimum twenty-foot roadway width is required for emergency access.

3. One-lane roadways allowing two-way traffic.

4. Remote areas not served by improved or paved roads.

B. The restrictions of subsection (A)of this section shall apply to all properties that have vehicular access from:

1. Madrone Avenue, west of Olive Avenue, including but not limited to those properties located on Echo Place, Glen Way, Hatzic Court, Jones Way, Nightingale Road, Oak Road, Penny Lane, Polhemus Way, Redwood Avenue, Ridgeway Lane, Scott Lane, Valley Way, Wilson Way.

2. Millard Avenue, 49 to 63 Olive Avenue, and Scott Way.

3. 31 Piedmont Road west to 260 Piedmont Road, including Coleman Avenue and Piedmont Court.

4. Owlswood Drive, Marina Vista Avenue, and Sunrise Lane.

5. Any property that is accessed solely by an unimproved or unpaved road.

C. An owner may apply for a waiver from the restrictions on accessory dwelling units established by this section. The waiver shall be considered for approval or denial by the Zoning Administrator, who shall make such determination after consultation with the Fire Department. In deciding whether or not to grant the requested waiver, the Zoning Administrator shall consider only factors related to ingress/egress for emergency vehicles and resident evacuation. These factors may include, but are not limited to, whether there are multiple routes of ingress or egress to the property as well as the distance from the property to the closest road with unconstrained ingress and egress. (Ord. 1045 § 2, 2020; Ord. 1044 § 3, 2020; Ord. 1038 § 1 (part), 2019)”

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CITY OF LOS ANGELES

City of Los Angeles Ordinance re: Accessory Dwelling Units & Junior Accessory Dwelling Units

https://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2016/16-1468_ORD_186481_12-19-2019.pdf

The City's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance (Ord. 186,481) was adopted on December 11, 2019 and became effective on December 19, 2019. Among additional matters, it added Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Section 12.22A.33.

33. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADU).

“Purpose. The purpose of this subdivision is to provide for the creation of ADUs and JADUs consistent with California Government Code Sections 65852.2 and 65852,22, as amended from time to time.

(b) Applicability. The following development standards shall apply:

A detached ADU shall be approved if in compliance with all of the provisions provided in Paragraphs (c) and (d).

An attached ADU shall be approved if in compliance with all of the provisions provided in Paragraphs (c) and (e).

(3) A Movable Tiny House (MTH) shall be approved if in compliance with all of the provisions in Paragraph (c), except for those provisions in Paragraph (c) which apply solely to buildings and structures; and all of the provisions in Paragraph (f).

A JADU shall be approved if in compliance with all of the provisions provided in Sections 65852.2(e)(1)(A) and 65852.22 of the Government Code.

(5) An ADU described by Section 65852.2(e)(1)(A) or (C) of the Government Code shall be approved if in compliance with all of the applicable provisions in Section 65852.2(e) of the Government Code.

(6) An ADU described by Section 65852.2(e)(1)(B) or (D) of the Government Code shall be approved if in compliance with all of the applicable provisions in Section 65852.2(e) of the Government Code; and all of the applicable provisions of Paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of this subdivision, except for those provisions which do not allow such an ADU otherwise in compliance with all applicable provisions in Section 65852.2(e) of the Government Code; and all of the provisions provided in Paragraph (g).” …

PROHIBITION OF ADUs

Sec. 2. A new Subdivision 33 is added to Subsection A of Section 12.22 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code to read as follows:

“33. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADU)”….

“(c) Development Standards

(3) Except where otherwise prohibited by this subdivision, an ADU is permitted in all zones where residential uses are permitted by right.

(4) No ADU is permitted on any lot that is located in both a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone designated by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department pursuant to Government Code Section 51178 and a Hillside Area as defined by the Hillside Area Map pursuant to Section 12.03 of this Code, unless it meets one of the following exceptions:

(i) the ADU is located within the boundaries of either the Northeast Los Angeles Community Plan Area or the Silver Lake - Echo Park - Elysian Valley Community Plan Area; or

The ADU complies with all of the following requirements:

a. Notwithstanding Subparagraph (c)(10) below, the ADU is protected throughout with an approved automatic fire sprinkler system, in compliance with the Los Angeles Plumbing Code;

b. Notwithstanding Subparagraph (c)(12) below, one off-street parking space is provided for the ADU; and

c. The ADU is located on a lot fronting on a street that is improved with a roadway width of 20 feet or more in unobstructed width, as measured along the entire frontage of the subject property, after any associated dedication and

improvement. In the event the ADU is located on a Through Lot or a Corner Lot, the lot must front on at least one street that is improved with a roadway width of 20 feet or more in unobstructed width after any associated dedication and improvement.”

….

“Sec. 8. URGENCY CLAUSE. The City finds and declares that this ordinance is required for the immediate protection of the public peace, health, and safety for the following reasons: The City is currently in the midst of a housing crisis, with the supply of affordable options unable to support the demand for housing in the City. The US Census reports that vacancy rates for housing in the Los Angeles area are currently among the lowest of any major city. Housing options currently available and affordable for many in the City include Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units. Additionally, while Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units are assets in mitigating the housing crisis, Los Angeles is a very unique city for the amount of mountain terrain and hillside areas located within its boundaries. The City’s hillside areas are often characterized by larger amounts of natural vegetation and substandard streets. They are typically far from public transit, services or jobs. Impacts of new construction are often multiplied in hillside neighborhoods, with pronounced impacts on water and sewer services, congestion, parking availability, roadway degradation, and public safety due to construction vehicles and machinery forced to park and transverse narrow hillside streets. Hillside areas also have a higher fire and natural disaster risk, while the winding roads slow emergency response times. For these reasons the ordinance prohibits Accessory Dwelling Units located in both a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone designated by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department pursuant to Government Code Section 51178 and a Hillside Area as defined by the Hillside Area Map pursuant to Section 12.03 of this Code, unless they meet requirements deemed necessary to protect the public peace, health, and safety. Given their unique characteristics and development challenges, these areas have long had distinct zoning and land use policies, including the development regulations. Therefore, immediate action is necessary to bring the City’s regulations into compliance with State law while preventing the development of Accessory Dwelling Units located in both a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone and Hillside Area unless they meets requirements deemed necessary to protect the public peace, health, and safety; and allow the regulated development of Accessory Dwelling Units. For all of these reasons, this ordinance shall become effective upon publication pursuant to Section 253 of the Los Angeles City Charter.”

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SOUTHEN MARIN FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT

http://mail.southernmarinfire.org/attachments/article/50069/2019%20SMFD%20FINAL%20CFC%20ORDINANCE%209-12-19.pdf

SOUTHERN MARIN FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ORDINANCE NO. 2019/2020-01

AN ORDINANCE OF THE SOUTHERN MARIN FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ADOPTING AND MODIFYING THE 2019 CALIFORNIA FIRE CODE, AND APPENDIX A OF THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL WILDLAND-URBAN INTERFACE CODE PRESCRIBING REGULATIONS GOVERNING CONDITIONS HAZARDOUS TO LIFE AND PROPERTY FROM FIRE OR EXPLOSION; PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS FOR HAZARDOUS USES OR OPERATIONS; AND DEFINE THE POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE RISK REDUCTION PREVENTION AND MITIGATION DIVISION AND OFFICERS.

WHEREAS, the Southern Marin Fire Protection District (District) may adopt a fire prevention code by reference pursuant to Article 2 commencing with Section 50022 of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 1 of Title 5 of the Government Code;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 13869, the Southern Marin Fire Protection District may adopt building standards relating to fire and panic safety that are more stringent than those building standards adopted by the State Fire Marshal and contained in the California Building Standards Code when such modified standards are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geological or topographical conditions;

WHEREAS, pursuant to Sections 17958.5, 17958.7, and 18941.5 of the State of California Health and Safety Code, changes or modifications to the 2019 California Building Standards Code are needed and are reasonably necessary because of local climatic, geographic and topographic conditions.

WHEREAS, this ordinance No. 2019/2020-01 was introduced and read by title only at a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Southern Marin Fire Protection District on the 18th day of September 2019.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED by the Board of Directors of Southern Marin Fire Protection District the following:

ADDENDIX III

Marin County Planning Commission’s Recommendation For Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations

Marin County Development Code – Page III-104

22.32.120 - Residential Accessory Dwelling Units

Standards for Specific Land Uses 22.32.120

There are four categories of Accessory Dwelling Units, each with different standards that apply as indicated below. In all of the categories, only one Accesso1y Dwelling Unit is allowed on a lot restricted to single family residential development. An Accessory Dwelling Unit may be rented but shall not be sold or otherwise conveyed separately from the primary dwelling unit and Accesso1y Dwelling Units can only be rented for terms longer than 30 consecutive days.

A. Category 1. Accessory Dwelling Units in this category shall comply with the criteria listed below.

1. Single family Development:

a) The Accessory Dwelling Unit is contained entirely within the legal building area of an existing single family dwelling.

b) The Accessory Dwelling Unit is contained entirely within the legal building area of an existing outbuilding: except that the project may include an addition of not more than 150 square feet of floor area to provide access to the unit, provided the access addition meets minimum rear and side setbacks of four feet.

c) The Accessory Dwelling Unit is contained entirely within proposed new construction building area of an outbuilding that does not exceed a floor area of 800 square feet, a height of 16 feet above grade, and has minimum rear and side yard setbacks of four feet.

d) If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone or a very high fire hazard severity zone, then the property must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the property to an arterial street or highway.

Multi-family Development:

a) Two detached Accessory Dwelling Units are allowed to be built on a lot that that has an existing multi-family dwelling, but are detached from that multi-family dwelling and are subject to a height limit of 16 feet above grade and minimum side and rear setbacks of four feet.

b) Multiple Accessory Dwelling Units are allowed to be built within those portions of the existing legal building area of a multi-family dwelling that are not conditioned to be habitable, such as boiler rooms, storage rooms, passageways, attics, basements, and garages.

c) At least one Accessory Dwelling Unit is allowed to be built within an existing multi- family dwelling, with the maximum allowed in multi-family dwellings of five units or more being 25 percent of the total existing legal units.

d) If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone or a very high fire hazard severity zone, then the property must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the prope1iy to an arterial street or highway.

B. Category 2. Accessory Dwelling Units in this category shall comply with the criteria listed below and shall be subject to Accessory Dwelling Unit approval.

1. The Accessory Dwelling Unit does not exceed a floor area of 800 square feet, a height of 16 feet above grade, has a minimum front yard setback of 25 feet and has minimum side and rear yard setbacks of four feet.

2. The Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be located outside of any environmentally sensitive areas.

3. If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone or a very high fire hazard severity zone, then it must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the property to an arterial street or highway.

C. Category 3. Accessory Dwelling Units in this category shall comply with the criteria listed below and shall be subject to Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit approval.

1. An attached Accessory Dwelling Unit contained entirely within an addition to an existing single-family residence shall not exceed 50 percent of the floor area of the existing residence. except that a one-bedroom unit that is up to 850 square feet shall be allowed and a two or more bedroom unit that is up to 1,000 square feet shall be allowed.

2. A detached Accessory Dwelling Unit shall not exceed a floor area of 1,200 square feet. A detached one-bedroom unit that is up to 850 square feet shall be allowed and a detached two or more bedroom unit that is up to 1,000 square feet shall be allowed.

3. An Accessory Dwelling Unit in a conventional zoning district shall comply with all development standards for that district and shall be located within any applicable building envelopes. Notwithstanding any floor area restrictions, a one-bedroom unit that is up to 850 square feet shall be allowed and a two or more bedroom unit that is up to 1,000 square feet shall be allowed.

4. An Accessory Dwelling Unit in a Planned zoning district shall comply with all the development standards for the R1:B3 zoning district, except that a numerical development restriction established by a Master Plan shall govern where applicable, and the unit shall be located within any applicable building envelopes. Notwithstanding any floor area restrictions, a one-bedroom unit that is up to 850 square feet shall be allowed and a two or more bedroom unit that is up to 1,000 square feet shall be allowed.

5. The Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be located outside of any environmentally sensitive areas.

4. If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone or a very high fire hazard severity zone, then the property must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the property to an arterial street or highway.

D. Category 4. Accessory Dwelling Units in this category are those units that do not fall within categories 1-3 above, and shall comply with the criteria below and shall be subject to Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit approval.

I. An attached Accessory Dwelling Unit contained entirely within an addition to an existing single-family residence shall not exceed 50 percent of the floor area of the existing residence.

2. A detached Accessory Dwelling Unit shall not exceed a floor area of 1,200 square feet.

3. The Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be located outside of any environmentally sensitive areas.

4. If an Accessory Dwelling Unit is to be located on a property in a wildland urban interface zone or a very high fire hazard severity zone, then the property must have direct vehicle access to a street network with a continuous minimum paved width of at least 20 feet from the property to an arterial street or highway. However, this standard shall not applv when the Marin County Fire Department or the responsible local fire protection district determines that adequate emergency access and evacuation routes will be provided.

5. The development of the Accessory Dwelling Unit shall comply with all applicable zoning requirements, including Master Plan criteria and discretionary review.


[1] https://www.marinij.com/2021/02/02/san-rafael-tightens-wildfire-safety-regulations/

[2] Southern Marin Fire Protection District Roadway Standard - https://smfd.org/prevention/ordinances-standards/file/residential standards/210 Roadway Driveway and Bridge Design 10-6-11.pdf

[3] https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/selectFromMultiples.xhtml?lawCode=GOV§ionNum=65852.2

[4]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx15pyv0JoJZZ0tVR1pXOV9vTGRQVTRrQWxER0VOeVQxd2xz/view

[5]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx15pyv0JoJZZ0tVR1pXOV9vTGRQVTRrQWxER0VOeVQxd2xz/view

[6]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx15pyv0JoJZZ0tVR1pXOV9vTGRQVTRrQWxER0VOeVQxd2xz/view

[7]https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx15pyv0JoJZZ0tVR1pXOV9vTGRQVTRrQWxER0VOeVQxd2xz/view

Tags

Sustainable TamAlmonte, Accessory Dwelling Units, Public Health & Safety, Environment, AB-68, AB-881, SB-13