Accessory Dwelling Units will be re-presented at the Oct. 11 meeting

ATASCADERO—The Atascadero City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. The hybrid meeting was held in the City Council Chambers and preceded the council’s 5 p.m. closed session.

The agenda passed unanimously, with no reportable action from the closed session. The possible termination of Atascadero’s Police Chief, Bob Masterson, was not addressed at the evening’s meeting.

The council proclaimed Sept. 15 thru Oct. 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month. Mayor Heather Moreno read the proclamation.


The Consent Calendar for the evening also passed unanimously.

The meeting then went into the first of three public hearings. The first dealing with Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Text Amendments (AMC Title 9).

Councilmember Mark Dariz excused himself from the first two public hearings. 

“Unfortunately, with my background, my business as an architect, I’ve done a number of ADUs over the years and will probably do some in the future,” Dariz said. “I have one currently, possibly in the books, but I haven’t signed the contract; but either way, this is something I could potentially benefit from financially, so as a result, in all fairness, I need to remove myself for any possible conflict of interest.”

On Tuesday, Aug. 2, the Atascadero Planning Commission met and made revisions on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), Urban Dwelling Units (USUs), and Urban Lot Splits. They brought the revisions before the council this week.

Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore and Senior Planner Kelly Gleason gave the presentation on ADUs. 

On Jan. 1, 2021, changes were made to the ADU laws, and SB 9 came into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

“I just want to make sure we’re realistic about the types of changes that we can do and still pass this tonight,” stated City Manager Rachelle Rickard on the ordinance.

After much deliberation on ADUs and junior ADUs (generally attached to an existing building), concerns with wording during public comment, and an extensive request for changes from the council, it was decided that the draft ordnance be rectified and re-presented to the council at the Oct. 11 meeting. 

“Staff has been talking during the break and there is enough of these moving parts that we are going to go ahead and continue this item to our Oct. 11 meeting,” stated Moreno after staff’s second break of the night.

The second public hearing continued on with the theme and addressed the Ordinance Adopting Standards

for the Implementation of SB 9: Urban Dwelling Units (UDUs) and Urban Lot Splits. Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore and Senior Planner Kelly Gleason also gave the presentation.

The city already has SB 9 standards in place. UDUs are a secondary primary dwelling unit on one property. In theory, with the use of UDUs and ADUs a single parcel could have up to four dwellings on it when including Urban Lot Splits in single-family districts.

Staff recommended that the council take two actions, introducing an ordinance for first reading amending Title 9 to add Chapter 18, which is the UDUs, and introducing for first reading ordinance B, which amends Title 11 and add a section into sub-division regulations related to Urban Lot Splits.

The council made changes to garage size, stacked footage, and acreage size before the motion passed unanimously.

Councilmember Dariz returned to the Council Chambers and the meeting went on to address the final public hearing on the 2022 Economic Hardship Program: Time Extensions For Construction Permits. Community Development Director Phil Dunsmore gave the presentation.

It was proposed that the Council adopt the Draft Resolution authorizing staff to allow for one-year time extensions to construction permits that meet eligibility standards. Extending them to Jan. 1, 2024.

The motion passed unanimously. 

The next Atascadero City Council meeting will be held on Tues. Sept. 27, at 6 p.m.