Project Title: Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Ordinance Amendments
Case Number:  20ORD-00000-00001, -00002, -00003                              
Project Location: Countywide Program
Assigned Staff and Division:

Jessi Steele, Long Range Planning Division



On October 9, 2019, Governor Newsom approved Assembly Bill (AB) 68, AB 881, and Senate Bill (SB) 13.  These bills collectively amended State accessory dwelling unit (ADU) law (Government Code section 65852.2) and junior ADU (JADU) law (Government Code section 65852.22).  The bills went into effect on January 1, 2020, at which time the County's Inland Area ADU ordinances (i.e., County Land Use and Development Code [LUDC] section 35.42.015 and Montecito LUDC [MLUDC] section 35.442.15) became null and void due to noncompliance with State law.  On May 18, 2021, the Santa Barbara County (County) Board of Supervisors (Board) adopted zoning ordinance amendments to comply with State ADU and JADU law. The County's Coastal Zone ADU ordinance (Article II Coastal Zoning Ordinance [CZO] section 35-142) shall remain in effect until the California Coastal Commission certifies the County's new ADU/JADU ordinance.   

The County has implemented a streamlined permitting process for ADUs and JADUs. ADUs and JADUs in the Inland Area now require building permits only (no planning permits or Exemptions).  Please click  here  for a list of application submittal materials and information about the new ADU/JADU permitting process.       


The County's Long-Range Planning Division prepared amendments to the CZO (Case No. 20ORD-00000-00001), LUDC (Case No. 20ORD-00000-00002), and MLUDC (Case No. 20ORD-00000-00003) in response to revisions to GC § 65852.2 and 65852.22 regarding the permitting and regulating of ADUs and JADUs, respectively.  Staff is also prepared amendments to the Santa Barbara County Uniform Rules for Agricultural Preserves and Farmland Security Zones (Uniform Rules) to add new and revise existing definitions and allow JADUs on lands subject to agricultural preserve contracts.

On May 18, 2021, the Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the ADU and JADU zoning ordinance amendments and a resolution amending the Uniform Rules. Please see the Timeline, below, for links to the adopted amendments.

The Uniform Rules amendment went into effect upon adoption on May 18, 2021. The LUDC and MLUDC amendments went into effect in the Inland Area 30 days after adoption, on June 17, 2021. The CZO amendment must be certified by the California Coastal Commission before it can go into effect in the Coastal Zone. The certification process may take a year or more and, therefore, staff expects certification may occur in fall 2022 or later. 


Board of Supervisors
May 18, 2021


For ADU and JADU permit processing documents, including lists of ADU and JADU development standards please click here.

For applicable State and local ADU/JADU regulations, please see the following:  (See Section 1.5 of GC § 65852.2 for cumulative changes from all three ADU bills.)

Additional Information

We welcome any ideas, comments, suggestions or questions you may have throughout all stages of this project. Please contact the Long Range Planning Division via email. 

Join our  mailing list to receive information about upcoming activities regarding the ADU Ordinance Amendments.