Additional Bedrooms within Existing Dwelling Units

Assembly Bill 916 (2022) enacts a new Government Code section 65850.02, which states that local jurisdictions cannot adopt or enforce an ordinance requiring a public hearing as a condition of reconfiguring existing space to increase the bedroom count within an existing dwelling unit. To bring Piedmont’s Code into conformance with this state law, a new City Code division 17.42 Additional Bedrooms in Existing Dwelling Units is now added and adopted.

The new division 17.42 provides a ministerial process with no public hearings for applications for issuance of an Additional Bedroom Permit and sets standards for approval. 

Additional Bedroom Permits

Currently, a project to make interior modifications with no changes to the exterior of a residential building requires a building permit, but no planning permit. The exception to this is proposed construction that increases the number of bedrooms but does not provide the required conforming parking spaces. In this scenario, a variance from the parking requirements must be considered by the Planning Commission at a public hearing. Exterior changes to a residential building require a design review permit that, depending on the scope, is reviewed either by staff or the Planning Commission.

This process will remain available to project applicants, but the adopted new City Code division 17.42 Additional Bedrooms in Existing Dwelling Units provides a ministerial process for reconfiguring existing living area to increase the number of bedrooms subject to specific standards.  The new division provides a ministerial process for the review of such permits, subject to the following standards provided in City Code section 17.42.040:

The Director may not approve an application for additional bedroom permit unless the project conforms to all of the following standards:

A.  The application proposes no more than two additional bedrooms within an existing dwelling unit. Area within an existing dwelling unit shall not include garages, carports, porches, decks, or crawl spaces.

B.  The additional bedrooms shall be created solely within existing space of the dwelling unit and no additional expansions of existing space are proposed to be added to the building (e.g., attic dormers and other structural protrusions).

C.  The project meets the requirements of division 17.30 Parking of this Code.

D.  Exterior design modifications (e.g., window and door changes) necessary to meet the health and safety requirements of Chapter 8 Building, Construction & Fire Prevention of this Code conform to the standards the City of Piedmont Design Guidelines.

The intent of the new code provisions in division 17.42 is to comply with State law while continuing the City’s on-site parking requirements, zoning and design standards.