City of Ventura Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance – Update No. 1 (05/15/17)

UPDATE: May 8, 2017
Check out these articles to get the latest on the changes to the ADU Ordinance

From: “Ward, David” <>
Date: Apr 14, 2017 3:41 PM
Subject: City of Ventura Accessory Dwelling Unit – Update No. 1

Greetings –

You are receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in the City’s development of the permanent Accessory Dwelling Unit “ADU” Ordinance in Ventura. I anticipate a total of 4 updates or public hearing notices during the next 4-6 month process to adoption.

Public Outreach
Public Outreach through the various community councils concluded during the first part of March. Lots of questions about different ADU scenarios as might apply to individual lots, how does building code requirements work for an interior “Junior ADU” versus a regular attached or detached ADU, and questions about the fees. The greatest feedback related to the owner-occupy operational provision with about a 60/40 split of folks opposed vs supportive of the rule. Staff anticipates this operational standard will be brought forward to allow the Planning Commission to consider it along with public comments both pro and con so that the Planning Commission can provide the City Council their technical recommendation as is their role in advising on any zoning ordinance.

Fire Sprinkler Provision
Clarification from the State Fire Marshall occurred in late January which helped explain which ADUs would or would not require sprinklers. In summary if the existing house has a sprinkler system, the ADU will need one too. If you  create an ADU from an existing structure by adding more than 50% additional square feet, then you will trigger sprinkler requirement. However, a new stand-alone, detached ADU would NOT require sprinklers.

For all fire questions on a specific ADU proposal, the Fire Department would be able to discuss and assist if you have nuance question or situation you are considering.

Fees Status
This is where the bulk of work during March and April have been spent and still continues. While we have resolved the big fee question, we are still working on the other development fees or taxes that are typically required for all development and now must be tailored to the ADU state law provisions.

Water and Sewer – New water meter, capacity fee (Net Zero Ordinance), Water Connection and Sewer Connection fees will NOT be required for either 1) an ADU created in an existing structure (house or other detached structure) or a Junior ADU (allowed only within in an existing house per state law); or 2) an ADU created from a converted garage with NO expansion of square feet (this means truly the garage converted, no walls expanded and no unit above it).  A submeter will be required which we understand to include the cost of unit (approximately $200-300) and then the cost of installation, which varies depending on where you choose a contractor to install it.

New water meter, capacity fee (Net Zero Ordinance), and Sewer Connection fees (no water connection fee)  WILL be required for either 1) ADU created in an existing structure that expands the square foot (house or other detached structure) or 2) a detached ADU stand-alone on the property or built above a garage or other detached structure. A submeter will be required as well, as noted above. On these fees, we are developing the structure for reduced amount for the ADU, such as 75% of the normal fee applied to a single family home or apartment unit.

Downtown and Westside Sewer Deficiency Fee – This only applies to these geographical areas and we are determining applicability and the fee amounts and if reduced fee can apply to the ADUs.

Other Development Fees and Taxes  — The remaining fees or taxes are also being assessed for application to ADUs with reduction amount and these include:
Public Park Fee
Parks and Recreation Facilities Tax
Fire Facility and Equipment Mitigation Fee
Capital Improvement Tax
Traffic Mitigation Fee
General Plan and Technology Fee

Development / Operational Standards
The current interim standards are contained in the urgency ordinance (note the Feb 13th hearing extending the term for 1 year but it is the January 9th document that contains the ADU provisions:

Since this is our next work effort coming on technical merits of the standards, you may still provide me comments on this topic through April 24th for consideration.

Next Update for Late May
– Confirmation of the fees and  the reduction rates.
– Draft Development standards and operational standards
– Identify the adoption process with dates to receive public comment and the hearing dates through the Planning Commission and City Council.

I hope this update is helpful to explain where the city is on progressing through work effort that was not formally part of the work plan for 2017. As such we are trying to fit in the ADU effort as quickly as we can amongst other work programs set by the City Council. While the urgency interim ordinance extends the time to January 2018, we expect to conclude this effort by early fall.

Please note, I will be away during the week of April 17th returning April 24th so I will not be able to respond immediately to any additional inquiries.

Thank you.

Dave Ward, AICP
Community Development Planning Manager

City of Ventura
501 Poli Street
Ventura, CA 93001
805.677.3964 office
805.654.7560 fax

“Collaborating with our Neighbors to Create a Thriving, Prosperous, Safe and Sustainable Ventura.”


One thought on “City of Ventura Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance – Update No. 1 (05/15/17)

  1. Lower the height and place down near the freeway (Johnson Drive) as to avoid light pollution etc. I Oppose….


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