On Tuesday, July 24, the Hermosa Beach City Council approved an ordinance allowing accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also called granny flats or in-law units, on residential lots meeting specific requirements. The lot must already have a single-family residence on it and must also be at least 4000 square feet. The ordinance was initially drafted with no parking requirement because Hermosa Beach has public transportation. It was later determined that Hermosa’s transit stops, despite covering the entirety of the city, do not qualify as “major transit stops,” and therefore state law would require at least one parking space per bedroom in the ADU. Once this qualification was added, the ordinance was approved.
While Hermosa Beach has had nonconforming residences for quite some time, some factors have made the city slow to accept the state’s guidelines, requiring a city ordinance geared towards Hermosa’s circumstances. Hermosa Beach has relatively high population density and relatively small lots for the area. State guidelines would allow ADUs on any lot with a single-family residence on it as long as sufficient parking is available, which would be difficult with more people in a smaller space, leading Hermosa Beach to limit applications to larger lots of at least 4000 square feet.