CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: December 9, 2003
Subject/Title: Introduce and waive the first reading of an ordinance
amending the secondary housing unit ordinance to establish criteria in
compliance with recent state legislation.
Submitted by: Community Development (Oshinsky/Leana/Hill)
Approved by: John Stevenson, City Manager
The Planning Commission recommends that Council introduce and waive the
first reading of an ordinance approving an amendment to the secondary
housing unit ordinance to establish criteria in compliance with recent state
The City Council adopted its existing second unit ordinance in 1978 via
In October of 2002, the State Legislature passed and the Governor signed
into law Assembly Bill 1866. This new law requires that applications for the
construction of all secondary housing units in all California cities be
either approved or disapproved ministerially without discretionary review or
public hearing. The City’s existing secondary housing unit ordinance
requires that these units go through a discretionary Conditional Use Permit
process for processing. In order to bring our ordinance into compliance with
this new legislation, an amendment to our existing secondary housing unit
ordinance is required.
Assembly Bill 1866 dictates that every local agency shall permit a second
unit as long as it complies with all of the following:
(A) The unit is not intended for sale and may be rented.
(B) The lot is zoned for single-family or multi-family use.
(C) The lot contains an existing single-family dwelling.
(D) The second unit is either attached to the existing dwelling, located
within the living area of the existing dwelling or detached from the
existing dwelling and located on the same lot as the existing dwelling.
(E) The increased floor area of an attached second unit shall not exceed 30
percent of the existing living area.
(F) The total area of floorspace for a detached second unit shall not exceed
1,200 square feet.
(G) Requirements relating to height, setback, lot coverage, architectural
review, site plan review, fees, charges, and other zoning requirements
generally applicable to residential construction in the zone in which the
property is located.
(H) Local building code requirements which apply to detached dwellings, as
Additionally, cities may by ordinance provide specific criteria for the
creation of second units including the following:
(A) Designate areas within the jurisdiction where second units may be
(B) Impose standards including, but not limited to, parking, height,
setback, lot coverage, architectural review, maximum size of a unit, and
standards that prevent adverse impact on properties listed as Historic
The modifications made to the secondary housing unit ordinance were intended
to comply with State law and at the same time serve to protect the integrity
and homogeneity of Brentwood residential neighborhoods. It should be noted
that a review of department records showed only one application for a
secondary housing unit being processed in the last 10 years.
Applications for secondary housing units which do not comply with Sections A
and B of the proposed ordinance in regard to general requirements and site
development and design criteria would require action by the Planning
Commission through the conditional use permit process.
The proposed ordinance was brought before the City Council Housing Committee
for review on September 25, 2003, and the Planning Commission on October 7,
2003, with recommendations for approval by the City Council.
None. The amendment of this section of the zoning ordinance in itself will
not create a fiscal impact. Second unit construction will result in the
collection of additional developer fees.
Revised Secondary Housing Unit Ordinance
Existing Secondary Housing Unit Ordinance
AN ORDINANCE OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD AMENDING THE
SECONDARY HOUSING UNIT ORDINANCE TO ESTABLISH CRITERIA IN COMPLIANCE WITH
WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood has initiated an amendment to the Secondary
Housing Unit Ordinance in order to comply with State law; and
WHEREAS, project information was referred to pertinent departments for
review and recommendations; and
WHEREAS, a Notice of Exemption has been prepared for this project as
projects of this type are statutorily exempt from the requirements of CEQA;
therefore, no additional environmental documentation is necessary; and
WHEREAS, this project was reviewed by the RGMP/Housing Subcommittee on
September 25, 2003, who reacted favorably towards it; and
WHEREAS, on October 7, 2003, the Planning Commission conducted a duly
noticed public hearing, considered public comments and passed Resolution No.
03-77 which recommended the approval of the ordinance amendment; and
WHEREAS, a Notice of Public Hearing was legally advertised in the Ledger
Dispatch on November 28, 2003, according to City policies and Government
Code Section 65091; and
WHEREAS, the City Council held a public hearing on the proposed zoning
amendment on December 9, 2003, for the purpose of reviewing the ordinance
amendment, considering the Planning Commission's action, and considering all
comments made by the public with respect to this proposed zoning amendment;
WHEREAS, after the close of the public hearing, the City Council considered
all public comments received both before and during the public hearing, the
presentation by City staff, the staff report, which includes an analysis of
the consistency of the proposed project with all other goals and policies of
the City and the General Plan, and all other pertinent goals, policies,
regulations and documents regarding the proposed zoning amendment; and
WHEREAS, the City Council of the City of Brentwood hereby makes the
following supporting findings for this application as required by Section
17.450.007 of the City Zoning Ordinance and State CEQA Guidelines:
1. The proposed zoning amendment has been processed in accordance with the
applicable provisions of the California Government Code and the California
Environmental Quality Act.
2. The proposed zoning amendment is consistent and compatible with other
goals, policies and implementation programs set forth in the General Plan.
3. A Notice of Exemption has been prepared for this project as projects of
this type are categorically exempt from the requirements of CEQA .
4. On the basis of the whole record before it, there is no substantial
evidence that this project will have a significant adverse effect on the
5. This zoning amendment will result in the establishment of criteria for
secondary housing units that will comply with State law; and
6. This zoning amendment will result in the establishment of criteria for
secondary housing units that will uphold the integrity of existing
residential neighborhoods within the City of Brentwood.
NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Brentwood does hereby ordain
A, Directs staff to file the Notice of Exemption with the County Clerk.
B. Directs staff to return to Council with a resolution adopting development
impact fees for secondary housing units.
A. Approves the zoning amendment establishing new criteria for the
development of secondary housing units in accordance with State law.
B. Deletes existing Chapter 17.100.005 of the Brentwood Municipal Code and
replaces it with a new Chapter 17.100.005 providing new criteria for the
development of secondary housing units as reflected in Exhibit “A”, which is
attached to and hereby made a part of this ordinance.
A. This Ordinance shall be published in accordance with applicable law, by
one or more of the following methods:
1. Posting the entire Ordinance in at least three (3) public places in the
City of Brentwood, within fifteen (15) days after its passage and adoption;
2. Publishing the entire Ordinance at least once in the Ledger-Dispatch, a
newspaper of general circulation published in the County of Contra Costa and
circulated in the City of Brentwood, within fifteen (15) days after its
passage and adoption; or
3. Publishing in the Brentwood Press a summary of the Ordinance prepared by
the City Attorney and posting a certified copy of the Ordinance in the
Office of the City Clerk at least five (5) days prior to passage and
adoption and along with the names of those City Council members voting for
and against the Ordinance.
B. This Ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after the date of
its passage and adoption.
Section 4. In accordance with Government Code Section 65863.5, upon the
effective date of this Ordinance, a copy shall be delivered to the County
THE FOREGOING ORDINANCE was introduced with the first reading waived at a
regular meeting of the Brentwood City Council on the 9th day of December,
2003, and adopted at a regular meeting of Brentwood City Council on the ____
day of __________, 2004, by the following vote:
TO CITY COUNCIL ORDINANCE
17.100.005 SECONDARY HOUSING UNITS:
A Secondary Housing Unit, which is an additional dwelling unit constructed
or adapted within, onto, or detached from a dwelling unit on a single-family
or multi-family residential lot, is ministerially permitted subject to the
requirements, standards and criteria established by the City of Brentwood
including, but not limited to, all of the following:
A. General Requirements for all Secondary Housing Units:
1. A Secondary Housing Unit may be permitted subject to the filing of an
application for a secondary housing unit with the City of Brentwood
Community Development Department and payment of the fees currently in effect
for secondary units at the time the application is deemed complete.
2. The lot is zoned for residential use and is improved with a single-family
3. A Secondary Housing Unit shall be permitted only on parcels meeting the
minimum requirements of the specific zone for minimum lot area.
4. The lot on which the Secondary Housing Unit is to be placed shall not be
subdivided and neither unit can be sold independently of the other. The City
shall require recordation of a deed restriction setting forth this
5. The lot on which the Secondary Housing Unit is to be placed must front a
6. The lot on which a Secondary Housing Unit is to be placed must be able to
provide adequate sewer and water services for both the existing primary
dwelling unit and the Secondary Housing Unit as determined by the City
Engineer. Approval by the Contra Costa County Health Department shall be
required if a private sewage disposal system or well system is being used.
7. The Secondary Housing Unit must not be intended for sale and may be
rented only if the owner of the property resides in either the primary
dwelling unit or the Secondary Housing Unit. The City shall require
recordation of a deed restriction setting forth this occupancy requirement.
8. The Secondary Housing Unit shall be occupied by no more than 2 adults and
9. There shall be no more than one (1) Secondary Housing Unit per legal
B. Site development and design criteria for all Secondary Housing Units:
1. The Secondary Housing Unit shall be designed in accordance with the
criteria set forth in Chapter 17.820 (Design and Site Development Review) to
ensure compatibility with, and minimal impact upon, the surrounding
neighborhood, as determined by the City Zoning Administrator. Detached
Secondary Housing Units should be carefully designed and sited to the rear
of the primary dwelling unit to ensure the neighborhood character will not
be negatively impacted. The Secondary Housing Unit shall be clearly
subordinate to the primary dwelling unit on the parcel by size, location,
and appearance and shall be constructed with materials and exterior finish
consistent with the primary unit.
2. The Secondary Housing Unit can have no more than 2 bedrooms.
3. In the event that the primary unit, or other accessory buildings and/or
structures located on the lot, is in disrepair or substandard to current
code requirements, approval of the Secondary Housing Unit may be contingent
upon specific requirements for building code compliance of existing
buildings and/or structures on the site.
4. One (1) additional standard size, covered or uncovered, off-street
parking space per Secondary Housing Unit shall be provided over and above
the requirements for the existing primary dwelling unit. The required
parking space(s) shall be in compliance with the City’s parking ordinance
5. The Secondary Housing Unit shall have a permanent foundation.
6. The Secondary Housing Unit must comply with all building and fire
department code requirements.
7. A detached Secondary Housing Unit must have separate utility hook-ups
from the primary dwelling unit, including but not limited to, sewer, water,
cable, telephone, gas and electric services, except for County Health
Department approved septic systems.
8. Secondary Housing Units, as well as any appurtenant structures thereto
such as carports or garages, shall meet all setback and height restrictions
of the zoning district in which it is to be located, however, in no event
shall any detached Secondary Housing Unit exceed a maximum height of fifteen
(15) feet, nor be located any closer than five (5) feet to any property
9. Secondary Housing Units may either be attached to the existing dwelling,
located within the living area of the existing dwelling, or detached from
the existing dwelling.
10. The floor area of an attached Secondary Housing Unit shall not exceed
thirty (30) percent of the existing living area of the primary unit.
11. The total floor area for a detached Secondary Housing Unit is based on
lot size and shall not exceed the following dimensions, but in any event
shall not exceed thirty (30) percent of the primary dwelling unit floor area
(excluding garages and carports):
Square Footage Secondary Unit
Maximum Square Footage
Less than 6,000 400
6,001 to 10,000 800
10,001 to 20,000 1000
20,001 and greater 1200
The above dimensions do not include area for garages or carports.
12. The total combined maximum lot coverage ratio for the existing dwelling
and the Secondary Housing Unit and all accessory buildings located on the
lot shall not exceed fifty percent (50%).
C. Any application for a Secondary Housing Unit not meeting all of the above
requirements listed under Section 17.100.005(A) and (B) above may be
considered for approval or denial by filing an application for a Conditional
D. Development Impact Fees for a Secondary Housing Unit shall be as outlined
in the City of Brentwood’s Adopted Master Fee Program as amended from time
to time by resolution.