Garden Grove

ADU ordinance moves along

A REVISED ordinance on construction of accessory dwelling units now goes back to the city planning commission after changes were approved by the Garden Grove City Council on Tuesday night (Shutterstock).

NOTE: This article includes some clarifications of the earlier post.

Changes in a proposed ordinance adopting new state housing requirements into the city’s municipal code were approved by the Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night. The next step in its journey is back to the planning commission.

The council voted 7-0 in favor of revisions of a proposed zoning text amendment that would allow accessory dwelling units not just in single family zones, but also in multiple family housing and mixed-use areas.

An ADU is defined as a secondary house or apartment that shares the building lot of a larger, primary house. The state is seeking to alleviate a housing shortage through ADUs, but critics worry it will create crowding and eliminate backyards.

Tuesday’s action reflects some changes from the original ordinance, which included:

  • Restricting the number of bedrooms for ADUs to two.
  • Limiting the total floor area of attached studio or one-bedroom ADUs to 850 square feet or 50 percent of the primary dwelling unit (whichever is less), but in no event less than 800 square feet.
  • A minimum of six feet is required between an attached or detached ADU and all other structures, including garages, as well as the primary dwelling unit.

Because of those and other changes, the ordinance will go back to the planning commission for its approval and then return to the council for eventual reconsideration.

Although the motion was approved unanimously, Councilmember Phat Bui (District 4) said that the new law raised issues about transportation, parking and infrastructure, including roads.

The next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22.


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