New state laws, currently being reviewed and refined by the Burbank Planning Board and City Council may be bringing some big changes and some new types of residences to your Burbank neighborhood soon! Effective January 1, of this year, Assemby bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 went into effect governing Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations – more commonly known as rules governing detached guest houses or “granny flats,” pool houses and alike, garage conversions and “accessory dwelling unit” additions attached to existing single family structures. The regulations are an attempt by the state to “address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable housing options for family members, friends, students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled and others at below market prices within existing neighborhoods.”

As a 30-year Burbank real estate professional, property owner and life long Burbank resident, one of my biggest concerns with the new laws is the lack of control our local governing bodies have in imposing restrictions on these new accessory dwelling units or ADUs. Aside from addressing parking requirements, height, lot coverage and maximum unit size, the City  of Burbank really doesn’t have any discretionary authority to limit potential negative impacts to our beloved R-1 residential neighborhoods. However, one option the city does have, which I think is crucial, is to mandate that the property owner reside in either the main residence or the accessory structure. Recently the City of Burbank adopted an IDCO (Interim Development Control Ordinance) to study the issue and institute some initial guidelines and restrictions regarding these ADUs. To find updated information regarding this issue, go to the City of Burbank’s website: www.burbankca.gov, and search for “accessory units.” Or give me a call and I’d be happy to talk with you about this important change coming to Burbank’s residential neighborhoods.