Second Units vs. Accessory Dwelling Units

Last September Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2406 that promotes secondary dwelling units aka accessory dwelling units (ADU) which as of January 1, 2017 has gone into effect.  Accessory Dwelling Units are defined as housing structures that provide complete independent living facilities and include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as another dwelling. The idea is this will hopefully help defeat the affordable housing crisis in California by creating more affordable housing. So, what’s the difference between an Accessory Dwelling Unit and a Second Unit?

Accessory Dwelling:

  • Not recognized by city or county as a second unit (sometimes it is though)
  • The market does NOT consider it a second unit
  • Probably does not contribute as much to value
  • Inferior to the main unit in size and location (maybe quality too)
  • Has kitchen, bathroom and sleeping area
  • May or may not be separately metered
  • May or may not have a separate address
  • May or may not be attached to the main house

Second Unit:

  • Recognized by city or county as a second unit
  • The market recognizes it as a second unit
  • Likely contributes more substantially to value
  • Zoning allows two units
  • It is probably separately metered
  • Most likely has a separate address
  • May or may not be inferior in size and location to the other unit
  • May or may not be attached to the main unit

On a local level,  Accessory Dwelling Units supersedes local jurisdiction (until or unless a City adopts a new ordinance) for Secondary Dwelling Units. It’s important to note that projects within the Coastal Zone still fall under the permitting requirements of the Coastal Act.

Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017

2SBFilmFestivalPoster2017 The 32nd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival  poster celebrates architecture and it’s link to cinema. This year’s poster was created by Barbara Boros and Bob Blackwell.

This year’s celebrity attendees include Denzel Washington, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Jeff Bridges, Casey Affleck, Isabelle Huppert, and Michelle Williams. For a complete list of special events, galas, films, free screenings, panels, and educational programs click here: Santa Barbara Film Festival 2017 Program

Fiesta! “Old Spanish Days” in Santa Barbara

“Old Spanish Days” is Santa Barbara’s largest celebration and one of the top regional festivals in the United States. It is expected to attract more than 100,000 people this year, making it one of the biggest to date.

This year “Fiesta!” will take place in various locations around the city August 3rd through the 7th.

This celebration of community fondly looks back to a period when Santa Barbara was a remote rural area under the influences of Spanish, Mexican, and local Native American cultures. Fiesta celebrates a period of romance and hospitality through pageantry, dance, music, custom, and cusine. (photo below is of the brochure for the Santa Barbara Fiesta 2016)

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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

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“Somewhere in Santa Barbara?”

Forbes magazine reported that in 2010 Oracle’s Larry Ellison sued his neighbors, whose trees were blocking his view of San Francisco Bay. The neighbors tried to obtain landmark status for the trees. Ellison hired a Tree Attorney and reportedly offered to buy their house. They settled out of court.

David Geffen is under fire from his neighbors for renovations to his 5th Avenue penthouse. 18 neighbors have filed complaints against Geffen some of which he’s settled.

Hedge funder Larry Robbins turned three lots behinds his New Jersey mansion into a 10,000 square foot hockey rink adding a small apartment thinking that would make it a legal residence. The neighbors challenges were dismissed and the arena still stands.

Investor Ira Rennert built a 29 bedroom 100,000 square foot house in the Hamptons and continues to stoke tensions with the neighbors by landing his helicopter on the property.

George Lucas neighbors have been battling him for decades over any expansions to his film studio. As a result he now plans to build 224 low income housing units in one of the more expensive areas of the country. Neighbors say he’s vindictive, he claims altruism. Forbes magazine suggests that un-neighborly behavior is surprisingly common among the ten figure set.

The most notable use of the quote in English Literature belongs to Robert Frost who used the line in his poem “Mending Wall.”This quote seems to be contradictory in nature. How can neighbors come together if they are divided by fences? Benjamin Franklin is known to have said, “Love thy neighbor, yet don’t pull down your hedge.” Given how many different cultures have versions of this proverb, it represents a very common sentiment among neighbors everywhere.

1214 High Ridge Lane in Santa Barbara

1214 High Ridge Lane in Santa Barbara is listed with Sotheby’s International Realty.  Listing agent Wilson Quarre. 3,700 square feet. Mediterranean Style. 3 car garage. Gated entry. 4 bedrooms with master, one guest and office on main floor. 3.5 bathrooms. Two bedrooms downstairs with workout area, wine closet, and more. Remodeled in 1999/2000. $3,398,000

10 Best Remodeling Web Sites

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Houzz Best for: Getting inspired to make changes big (overhauled kitchen) to small (paint color ideas) — and seeing how hundreds of other people have done those very things.

RetroRenovation Best for: Anyone who doesn’t think of a 1960s living room as a bad thing. Whether you’re looking for resources for restoring your old home, adding retro flair to a newer place or just looking for the best midcentury inspired sofa, this is your heaven. I visit it daily.

Porch Best for: Actually committing to the whole renovation thing. Here, you can easily find professionals in your area and look over their best work.

Remodelista Best for: Plotting your new, high-end dream home. Though the site has broadened its mission away from simply providing remodeling ideas (who would of thought?), you can still find great images waiting to be added to your “Dream Life” pinboard.

This Old House Best for: Fantasizing about a simpler, self-reliant life in a meticulously restored Victorian that was once nearly uninhabitable. It’s specific, but you know what we mean. We imagine the editors finding their bliss at salvage yards, or trading recommendations about screwdrivers all while turning an old found door into a stately table. And we look up to them for that.

DIY Network Best for: Finding practical advice and finding projects by budget. The network that brought you multiple Vanilla Ice-pegged reality shows has an exhaustive website that borders on overwhelming at times — but they know their stuff.

Dwell Best for: Imagining an impeccably tasteful life filled with ridiculously functional (but incredibly designed) surroundings, alongside men with architectural glasses and women with indie-chic short haircuts.

Remodelaholic Best for: Seeing how a real family renovated (and continues to renovate) on a tight budget. While the blog can be a little wonky at times, the content is good.

HGTV Remodel Best for: Figuring out what’s actually doable versus what projects will have a bigger commitment

Young House Love Best for: Those with more traditional design tastes, especially those in need of family-friendly advice. The couple behind this blog has made a mini-empire based around their love of remodeling homes.