I'm super excited to share with you that I'm working on the first SB 9 project. You might wonder what is SB 9? Senate Bill (SB) 9 is a California state law that enables homeowners to split their residential single-family lot into two separate lots and build up to two new housing units on each. By increasing the housing supply SB 9 aims to help alleviate the housing crisis while ensuring local homeowners, not real estate developers, are the ones making the aesthetic decisions and the resulting profits within their neighborhoods.
What is Senate Bill 9?
Senate Bill (SB) 9 allows properties within a “single-family residential zone” to be developed with two units and be subdivided into two parcels, irrespective of local development standards. SB 9 allows for two new types of development that must be reviewed ministerial without discretionary action or public comment:
Two Unit Development Allows a single-family residential parcel to be developed with two primary dwelling units instead of just one, including an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU), for a total of four dwelling units.
Urban Lot Split Allows a single-family residential parcel to be subdivided into two parcels and for each parcel to be developed with two primary dwelling units. The total number of allowable units, including ADUs and JADUs, resulting from and urban lot split is four units (two on each parcel). Homeowners who split their property must commit to occupying one of the lots as their primary residence for a minimum of three years. Once the lot is split, homeowners have a wide variety of options for developing housing on their newly created lots. These possibilities include single-family dwellings, duplexes, and ADUs. SB 9 entitles homeowners to build one duplex and, depending on local ordinance, up to two ADUs on each lot. This allows for a maximum total of 8 units across the two lots.
What Are The Benefits?
SB 9 opens up a wide variety of housing development options for homeowners to optimize their property's financial potential while maintaining the character of their community. A homeowner looking to access equity within their property could split their lot and either sell it or build up to three rental units to ensure long-term rental income. And for tenants, every new unit of long-term rental housing on the market helps to alleviate the demand.
For some homeowners, SB 9 fulfills the dream of multigenerational living by enabling them to share property with aging relatives or adult children. SB 9 also simplifies and speeds up the permit process, making it easier and more accessible for homeowners to add extra housing to their property.
What Are The Challenges?
Even with a streamlined process, getting a permit approved for a construction project is still a hassle. To make matters more complicated, every city will interpret and implement SB 9 in their own way. A homeowner looking to develop their property under SB 9 must first understand the limitations and requirements specific to their area's local ordinance.
I believe SB 9 is an exciting opportunity for California homeowners to build beautiful, affordable housing in their own backyards. The first step is to understand how your city will be implementing SB 9. My team can simplify and streamline the entire pre-construction process for your project to help with SB9 rules and regulations, step-by-step project guidance, design and engineering, as well as project management.
Stay tuned for updates, as I go through the process of getting the first SB 9 project approved by the city. If you'd like to explore options for your home or property schedule a complimentary discovery call.