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Nick Pham, Broker

Nick Pham, Broker

SB-9 & SB-10: A California Homeowner's Dream or A Nightmare Waiting to Happen?

On September 16, 2021, 2 new laws was signed that will change many residential neighborhood in California. SB-9 allows homeowner in a SINGLE-FAMILY zone to split their lot into 2, and then allow up to 2 residential units (duplex) on each lot. That would mean a potential of up to 4 homes o a piece of land that was previously zoned for ONE single-family home only. As for SB-10, if the single-family home is 0.5 mile from public transportation, the law will allow a multi-residential dwelling up to 10 units apartment on an existing single-family zone.

These laws are basically the extension of the recent Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), that allow homeowner to add an attached or detached dwelling units (aka granny unit) on their single-family lot. So what benefits or impacts will SB-9 and SB-10 bring to all the existing single-family zones? The state has made it easier for homeowner to maximize their land. But how about the potential negative impacts that these laws will have to a single family neighborhood? The setback will be smaller, 4ft from the fence, the additional noise, parking problems, traffic increase as the result of the additional dwellings? How about the impact on home value?

The local jurisdiction still have the final saying in term of the design compatibility with the existing home. There will probably be new local ordinances for implementations, etc. I personally think that our lawmakers may be too quick in voting this law. These 2 laws impact every single homeowners. This should have been on a ballot for the general election and voting! I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

Nick Pham
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