Accessory Dwelling Unit and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit Guidelines

At the Board of Directors Meeting of November 17, 2020, the Board approved Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) Architectural Guidelines. 

After review of extensive and thoughtful comments submitted by homeowners during the review time period, the Board considered, and approved, changes as noted in the redline document. We are attaching both the final version for your record and the redline document for your review of revisions.

Some comments were easy to incorporate like consistently referring to them as “Guidelines” instead of “Standards”. And, seeing as how Nellie Gail Ranch has seven Committees, there was a recommendation requesting we include the full name of the “Architectural Review Committee” rather than simply referencing “Committee”. Both suggestions were implemented. 

Many comments expressed concern for the adoption of guidelines allowing Accessory Dwelling Units due to concerns for increased density, more parking, and possible rental of the dwelling units. We share those concerns, however, state legislation has been imposed upon Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association and the City of Laguna Hills requiring we allow them. In fact, the California Department of Housing and Community Development has published a handbook of guidance to “assist local governments, homeowners, architects, and the general public in encouraging the development of ADU’s.” What we can do is adopt reasonable guidelines to ensure that ADU and JADU structures harmonize with the community aesthetics and reduce the adverse impact to adjacent owners. 

Due to civil code restrictions, we were unable to implement homeowner suggested guidelines related to population density, street parking, rental restrictions, and required neighbor approval. As those types of guidelines would be unenforceable, they were not implemented.
To address concerns that construction vehicles and equipment may create hazards on trails the following guideline was implemented:

n. The equestrian trails and easements may not be utilized for construction equipment access and may not be unreasonably interfered with for construction purposes.

The proposed language restricting garage use from use for storage or workshops received comments both in favor and opposed. Those in favor want to see greater use of garages in place of street or driveway parking. Those opposed felt the language was overreaching in scope to what the CC&R’s allow. After review, the Board agreed the proposed garage revision regarding the use of garages was not applicable to these guidelines that are standards for construction of conversion of garages to approvable JADU’s. The use portion of the language in the proposed draft has been struck.

A number of comments referenced the proposed five-foot setback as being too close to the property line. The guidelines have been revised to reflect; “A detached ADU must be set back a reasonable distance from the side and rear property lines or Easements.” While “reasonable distance” is not specific, it will allow the Architectural Review Committee to review the wide variety of lot configurations and implement wider setbacks as may be deemed reasonable.

The attached guidelines are in effect immediately. We thank all those who submitted comments!!

Approved 11-17-20 Accessory Dwelling Unit Guidelines

Approved 11-17-20 Redline Accessory Dwelling Unit Guidelines