New Regulations for Accessory Dwelling Units in Santa Monica

May 30, 2018 12:04 PM

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – At its meeting on Tuesday, May 22, the Santa Monica City Council approved an ordinance to amend the City’s Zoning Ordinance regarding standards for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). An ADU is a dwelling unit providing complete independent living facilities that is located on a parcel with another, primary single-unit dwelling. ADUs have also been referred to as second dwelling units, in-law units, or granny flats. Independent ADU standards in SMMC Section 9.31.300 have been created separate from the Accessory Building and Structures standards in SMMC Section 9.21.020 to avoid any confusion and conflicts between the standards. Here are the key components of the changes:

ADUs continue to be excluded from R1 parcel coverage calculations per the R1 Interim Zoning Ordinance that Council adopted on April 10, 2018. The ADU development standards will be revisited as part of the forthcoming effort to review and update the R1 Single-Unit Residential development standards over the next 12-18 months.

A second reading of the ordinance will be heard on Tuesday, June 12. If adopted at that meeting, the ordinance will become effective on July 12, 2018. More information will soon be available on the Planning and Community Development website at If you are a homeowner and have questions, please email


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