On Sept. 27, the Belmont, Calif. City Council will vote on whether to approve an ordinance which would ease the process of legally building a second unit on a single-family property. The ordinance formally decreases the minimum lot size required to build a second unit “by right,” increases second unit zoning districts, and formalize the process of obtaining conditional use permits.
By right, if the ordinance passes, Belmont residents will be able to build second units on properties larger than 5,000 square feet, as long as they do not exceed 399 square feet in size. (This unit size restriction is unchanged from current law.) In order to build on a smaller lot, or build a larger second unit, the homeowner would have to seek a conditional use permit from the planning commission.
The Belmont bill's imminent approval comes as a state bill that would ease second-unit requirements across California, SB 1069, awaits Gov. Jerry Brown's signature in order to take effect.