The city of St. Helena is rushing to comply with a new state law removing local restrictions on accessory dwelling units.
Support local news coverage and the people who report it by subscribing to the Napa Valley Register.
The City Council adopted an urgency ordinance on Tuesday amending its ADU policies. The new regulations make it easier for property owners to apply for and build the structures, also known as second units or granny units.
ADUs can now be taller — up to 18-25 feet, depending on their location — and are no longer subject to front setback requirements under some circumstances.
The city must approve or deny an ADU application within 60 days. A denial must be justified with detailed comments explaining how to remedy the application’s deficiencies.
Attorney Anne Branham, who is advising St. Helena and other jurisdictions on ADU policies, said the urgency ordinance will allow the city to maintain “the small amount of local control the state has left you.”
Senate Bill 897, which took effect Jan. 1, is part of a wave of California legislation that limits the ability of local governments to regulate housing. Other limits on local control will be reflected in the city’s new zoning code.
You can reach Jesse Duarte at (707) 967-6803 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be the first to know
Get local news delivered to your inbox!