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City News

City Council Highlights: October 9

City Council Adopts Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance

At its meeting Tuesday, October 9, the Laguna Beach City Council unanimously adopted an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance regarding second residential units on a property. The ordinance has been expanded, rewritten and reorganized, and was adopted by the City Council by passing its second reading Tuesday. Because the Ordinance is an amendment to the City’s Local Coastal Program, it will require certification from the California Coastal Commission before it takes effect.

State regulations regarding ADUs took effect on January 1, 2017 and aim to address the California housing shortage by encouraging the development of affordable housing options for seniors, students, the disabled, relatives and in-home health care providers.

Existing ADU Structures

ADUs are permitted within an existing structure on any lot where a single-family dwelling currently exists but requires owner-occupancy of either the primary or accessory unit. Proposed ADUs located entirely within a single-family residence, or permitted accessory structure, do not need to meet additional parking requirements or other development standards shown below for new ADU structures.

Ordinance as it Pertains to New ADU Structures

The City’s Municipal Code will only regulate new construction of an ADU, whether it is attached or detached. For new attached or detached ADUs, the following standards apply:  

  • Minimum lot size for an ADU is 6,000 square feet
  • Maximum ADU size depends on lot size, not to exceed 750 square feet and is determined by 7% of the lot size (6,000 sq. ft. lot x 7% = 420 sq. ft. ADU)
  • The unit size may be increased to 10% of the lot size if dedicated as low- to moderate-income, or senior unit-Maximum ADU building height is 12’, anything higher is subject to Design Review approval 

Parking Exemptions for New ADUs

There is an exemption from State parking requirements for new attached or detached ADUs if the ADU is located within one-half mile of public transit, as defined by the City as OCTA Bus Routes and the City’s Mainline Transit System consisting of regular non-seasonal route public transit.

However, the State parking exemption for new attached and detached ADUs will not apply if there is less than a 28-foot paved right-of-way width (includes 8-foot wide on-street parking lane), or 36-foot paved right-of-way width (includes two 8-foot wide on-street parking lanes), for the front of a property, which is to ensure emergency vehicle accessibility. Additionally, that width clearance must be maintained in either direction to the intersections adjacent to the property. If the street width cannot be met, one onsite parking space is required and can be uncovered; or an owner may construct one new public on-street parking space as parking for an ADU. 

Replacement Parking Requirements for Garages Converted to an ADU

Replacement parking for the conversion of an existing garage into an ADU must be provided as covered, uncovered or tandem.  

An ADU may not be operated at any time as a short-term lodging unit, and the City’s Short Term Lodging Ordinance rules will apply. An ADU enforcement and monitoring program will be developed as part of this ordinance. Again, the Ordinance goes into effect only after it has been ratified and certified by the California Coastal Comm8ssion.

Laguna Beach Food Pantry Recognized for 25 Years of Service to the Local Community

At its meeting Tuesday, October 9, Laguna Beach Mayor Kelly Boyd made a proclamation recognizing the Laguna Beach Food Pantry for 25 years of service to the community.

The Laguna Food Pantry was founded by volunteers in 1993 to address the urgent need for food in our then fire-ravaged community. The Food Pantry believes no one should go hungry, and gives away over 4,000 pounds of food each day to those in need. The Pantry serves almost 2,000 families - many with infants and small children and 6,000 individuals each month.

“I just want to thank each and every one of the Laguna Beach community- whether you are a volunteer or you have donated to us,’ said Suriya Kahn, Vice Chair of the Pantry.

“We are so thankful and humbled by everyone who supports us.”

The Laguna Food Pantry relies on donations from individuals, local businesses, corporations and foundations. Over 120 volunteers operate the pantry year round.

Hospitality Night Set for Friday, December 7

Hospitality Night will once again kick-off the holiday season in Laguna Beach. The City Council approved the event scheduled for Friday, December 7, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This year’s festivities will take place in the Pepper Tree Parking Lot with the lighting of the Pepper Tree by Santa at 6:00 p.m. Merchants on Forest Avenue will again offer entertainment and merchant open houses. In order to accommodate the event portions of Forest Avenue, Beach Street, Ocean Avenue and the Pepper Tree Parking Lot will be closed to vehicles prior to and during the event so that pedestrians can walk around safely downtown.