Multitaskr Blog

5 Things You Must Consider Before You Lot Split With SB 9

There are a few conditions and standards homeowners must follow to complete a lot split regarding feasibility, design, permits, construction, and parcel maps.
December 16, 2021 12:00am

Senate Bill 9 (SB 9) will change the way we afford homeownership in California. Starting January 1, 2022, homeowners can maximize their properties with an SB 9 lot split. All lot splits will require permits issued by a local agency to build up to 4 units on one single-family residence. The lot split will also end traditional single-family zoning in California.

California's new housing and zoning law goes into effect as mortgages continue to form the highest portion of the nation's debt. As of October 2021, the Midwest held the highest homeownership rate at 69%, with the lowest rate in the West at 60%.

With the lowest homeownership rates in California this last year, Governor Gavin Newsom passed the new housing development program to alleviate the housing crisis and create more affordable living. Senate Bill 9 expects to create new development opportunities for homeowners. It also seeks to develop new strategies to lower mortgage payments, add more living space, increase home value, and earn additional income.

Here are the five things you should consider before planning your lot split.

1. Feasibility = Will my property be eligible for a lot split?

The law states that any homeowner who plans to occupy their primary residence for the next three years could submit floor plans for a lot split. There are essential property conditions to consider and review with a contractor before ordering the split. It will be vital to have your trusted contractor evaluate the ground level, floor area ratio, setbacks, and the existing utilities from the primary home.

Multitaskr ensures the feasibility of the lot split with a feasibility report. The feasibility report is a property assessment that analyzes building records, past permits, and all structures built by previous or current homeowners. It's vital to get a feasibility report during the first stages of your project to determine your property's weaknesses and strengths. There must be sufficient space to successfully complete the requested lot split. At Multitaskr, we will ensure all facilities are up to code to avoid restrictions during your SB 9 project.

2. Design = What will my lot split look like?

Once the feasibility of your lot split has been determined, you'll advance into the design phase. Your design will need to assure that the smaller parcel is at least 1,200 sq ft in size.

When requesting a lot split, the minimum ratio requirement for the smaller parcel is 40% of the entire lot. Therefore, there are three variations. You can choose to split your lot into a 60/40, 50/50, or 45/55 split.

Parcel maps, also known as property maps, make up the build of your lot. These maps will be used to construct additional units on either parcel of your property and help determine utility connections and setbacks. Another critical factor that will play into what kind of split fits your property will be based on the way your home's front is positioned. All new units being constructed must face a public road. Your design will also consider that each of the parcels can not be smaller than 1,200 sq ft. 

3. Cost = How much will a lot split cost?

The cost of a lot split can be estimated with the assistance of various factors: the size of the lot, the number of units being constructed, the size of each of the units being built, the tiers of the units being built, amenities, number of bedrooms, and bathrooms. A 300 sq ft ADU starts at 99k, and currently, the cost per square foot of a stand-alone accessory dwelling unit is priced at $330.00.

The material cost will also play a significant role in your final price. However, Multitaskr recently opened a warehouse where all material is stored to prevent skyrocketing lumber, steel, and other essential material from escalating your project estimate. There are also additional ways to save when building. Suppose you're planning on using the accessory dwelling unit for rental purposes. In that case, you can select your vanities and amenities from our catalog that is recommended for rental use. 

4. Permits = What will the permit process look like?

Submitting an SB 9 project to a local agency can be complex and expensive if the plans do not align with the city's construction code. With the help of the feasibility report, we'll build out a design that follows all SB 9 guidelines to prevent delays during the revision process. Our partnerships with the City of San Diego, National City, and Chula Vista allow us to work closely with representatives from various local agencies. These partnerships have offered guidance in aligning floor plans with the new housing and zoning codes.

Senate Bill 9 is brand new to contractors, architects, realtors, and local agencies. We recommend submitting all your floor plans for approval with our in-house permit team. They become the point of contact for all your design modifications requested by local agencies.

5. Timeline = How long will it take to complete a lot split?

If you're considering completing a lot split, you'll most likely need one to two accessory dwelling units (ADUs) built. It takes approximately three to six months to construct an ADU. At times, city permit revision and issuance can delay the process from 30-90 days. With more than one accessory dwelling unit built on the property, the estimated timeline ranges from five to nine months.

The project's duration will vary depending on the complexity. The number of units being built, the customization, utility accessibility, and lot adjustments direct the timeline.

Senate Bill 9 will not only affect the way we afford homeownership, but it will change the way we build. With new tools to create more living space, increase home value, and earn additional income, the American dream will become more accessible to all.

Want to learn more about SB 9? Read the latest about the new housing bill here