5. How are fees assessed/levied on Accessory Dwelling Units?

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Accessory Dwelling Units (or ADUs), and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), sometimes called casitas, granny flats, in-law units, accessory units, are separate residential units that can house a new family that generates new students. Fees are assessed on all new ADUs square footage in the same manner as with other new residential construction.  ADUs are not additions to existing residential structures.  Therefore, the exemption for additions 500 square feet or less are not applicable.  A new ADU is charged fees even if it is only 300 square feet.

By statute, an “Accessory Dwelling Unit” is defined as “an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence. It shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as the single-family or multifamily dwelling is or will be situated.” (Gov. Code, § 65852.2(j)(1).)

Note: The impact fee restrictions on ADUs imposed by Senate Bill 13  (“SB 13") are only applicable to impact fees levied by cities, counties, and special districts.    School districts are independently authorized to levy school developer fees per Education Code § 17620.  SB 13 does not modify, suspend, or mention Education Code § 17620. Accordingly, SB 13 does not restrict school districts’ levies of school fees on ADUs.  For the same reasons, AB 881 does not limit the levy of school developer fees on ADUs.