What you need to know about SB9

December 29, 2021 10:18 am

by Cary Fukui

What is SB9?

SB9, also known as the California Housing Opportunity and More Efficiency (HOME) Act, is a state bill that requires cities to allow an additional housing unit on parcels designated for single-family homes. This law allows up to two residential units in single-family dwelling zones, excluding all additional residential units (ADUs). Passed in September 2021, the law will come into effect across California on January 1, 2022. Once SB9 is active, it only applies to property owners in R1 (Single-Unit Residential) and OP1 (Ocean Park Single-Unit Residential). Zones.

This map shows the areas that can benefit from the new bill.

Who can use SB9 to add additional units to their property?

Only properties in the zone divisions R1 and OP1 can use SB9. There are a few exceptions to ensure that the new law does not result in the displacement of existing residents. Properties that meet any of the following conditions cannot submit an SB9 application:

1. Within certain hazard zones, such as earthquake faults, flood zones and nature reserves;

2. Within a Historic District or is a designated Historic Resource;

3. Contains an existing price controlled unit, including deed restriction and / or rental control;

4th Recently removed under the Ellis Act (15 years ago); and

5. Requires the removal of more than 25% of the existing structural walls.

What exactly does SB9 do for property owners and how can I apply?

There are two different ways for applicants to add an additional unit to their property:

1. The construction of two units on a single plot;

A. This also includes dividing an existing house into two units.

2. The division of a lot into two separate lots.

The SB9 process is similar to the existing development review process. Property owners will file an SB9-specific application with the Santa Monica City Planning Department. The application will be reviewed to make sure the project complies with new state laws, checking things like zoning and development standards. Once the SB9 application is approved by the city, the property owner will go through the normal plan review and building permit process.

To learn more, read the SB9 informational element or contact [email protected]

Written by

Cary Fukui
Partner planner


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