Smart Homes Accessory Dwelling Unit


Accessory Dwelling Unit

California is a beautiful state, many of us are fortunate to call home, but due to a recent housing crisis many are being forced to leave. To help with this problem, Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1069 (September 2016) and Senate Bill 229 (September 2017) allowing the ease for homeowners to build a detached house within the confine of their own backyard known as an Accessory Dwelling Unit ADU.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit provides family members, students, senior citizens, in-home healthcare providers, and the community extra rental inventory, as well as provide a secondary income for the homeowner.  ADU’s can also significantly increase the value of the homeowner’s property.  An ADU can be relatively small and their amenities modest, but they provide a comfortable, warm, private, energy efficient affordable housing option., Living ReDefined

There are roughly around 24 million empty, retired shipping containers on our planet. Using shipping containers for building means rescuing the containers from their inevitable fate of laying dormant near harbors, ports, beaches, and even cities.

At SmartHomesADU, we offer affordable ADUs made from shipping containers for the environmental and budget conscious homeowner. Our units are manufactured and delivered to site in a much quicker fashion than the traditional construction methods. All of our units also come complete with appliances and were designed for maximum use of space.

Affordable & Efficient

SHA models were designed with affordability in mind while still meeting the basic requirements of any dwelling. From our years of research, container homes made the most sense. Globally they are readily available and by utilizing them as livable structures we are helping reduce the need to cut down trees globally for lumber.
Having the complete framework of 4 walls, roof and flooring from the container lends to its efficient use, making it the fastest and most durable structure for a dwelling.

Durable & Versatile

Highly durable and resistant to the woes that plague stick-built homes, shipping container homes are an incredibly attractive option for budget-conscious homeowners.

Containers are the strongest structure available–stronger than wood, concrete, and even regular steel buildings. The containers are resistant to any natural disaster available, including tornadoes, earthquakes, and even hurricanes. Shipping containers, whether single units or multiple connected units, can withstand up to 100MPH winds when rooted on foundation, or 175MPH winds when anchored with pylons, making them solid in both tornadoes and hurricanes. And even after a direct hit during an earthquake, the structure would never collapse.

SmartHome & Green

All SHA Models come with Samsung SmartThings allowing for home security and video monitoring from your phone. Control your homes temperature to its security all from your phone.

SHA’s reduces your carbon footprint compared to conventional construction. We are using existing materials that otherwise would be scrapped or melted for metal.  Using shipping containers for building means rescuing the containers from their inevitable fate of laying dormant near harbors, ports, beaches, and even cities. The containers are truly eco-green structures, made from 85% recycled steel and fully recyclable if demolished, and reusing them saves new building materials. Roughly 70 trees are saved just by using the recycled materials that the containers provide.

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SHA models come in 2 lengths: the 20 and 40 Footer. Either size, endless possibilities await you.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Can ADUs in California Exceed General Plan and Zoning Densities

An ADU is an accessory use for the purposes of calculating allowable density under the general plan and zoning. For example, if a zoning district allows one unit per 7,500 square feet, then an ADU would not be counted as an additional unit. Minimum lot sizes must not be doubled (e.g., 15,000 sq. ft.) to account for an ADU. Further, local governments could elect to allow more than one ADU on a lot.

How Are Fees Charged to ADUs in California?

All impact fees, including water, sewer, park and traffic fees must be charged in accordance with the Fee Mitigation Act, which requires fees to be proportional to the actual impact (e.g., significantly less than a single family home).

Fees on ADUs, must proportionately account for impact on services based on the size of the ADU or number of plumbing fixtures. For example, a 700 square foot new ADU with one bathroom that results in less landscaping should be charged much less than a 2,000 square foot home with three bathrooms and an entirely new landscaped parcel which must be irrigated. Fees for ADUs should be significantly less and should account for a lesser impact such as lower sewer or traffic impacts.

What Utility Fee Requirements Apply to ADUs in California?

Cities and counties cannot consider ADUs as new residential uses when calculating connection fees and capacity charges.

Where ADUs are being created within an existing structure (primary or accessory), the city or county cannot require a new or separate utility connections for the ADU and cannot charge any connection fee or capacity charge.

For other ADUs, a local agency may require separate utility connections between the primary dwelling and the ADU, but any connection fee or capacity charge must be proportionate to the impact of the ADU based on either its size or the number of plumbing fixtures.

Are Owner Occupants Required?

No, however, a local government can require an applicant to be an owner occupant. The owner may reside in the primary or accessory structure. Local governments can also require the ADU to not be used for short term rentals (terms lesser than 30 days). Both owner occupant use and prohibition on short term rentals can be required on the
same property. Local agencies which impose this requirement should require recordation of a deed restriction regarding owner occupancy to comply with GC Section 27281.5

Are Fire Sprinklers Required for ADUs?

Depends, ADUs shall not be required to provide fire sprinklers if they are not or were not required of the primary residence. However, sprinklers can be required for an ADU if required in the primary structure. For example, if the primary residence has sprinklers as a result of an existing ordinance, then sprinklers could be required in the ADU.
Alternative methods for fire protection could be provided.
If the ADU is detached from the main structure or new space above a detached garage, applicants can be encouraged to contact the local fire jurisdiction for information regarding fire sprinklers. Since ADUs are a unique opportunity to address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable housing options for family members,
students, the elderly, in-home health care providers, the disabled, and others, the fire departments want to ensure the safety of these populations as well as the safety of those living in the primary structure. Fire Departments can help educate property owners on the benefits of sprinklers, potential resources and how they can be installed cost effectively. For example, insurance rates are typically 5 to 10 percent lower where the unit is sprinklered. Finally, other methods exist to provide additional fire protection. Some options may include additional exits, emergency escape and rescue openings, 1 hour or greater fire-rated assemblies, roofing materials and setbacks from property lines or other structures.

Is Manufactured Housing Permitted as an ADU?

Yes, an ADU is any residential dwelling unit with independent facilities and permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. An ADU includes an efficiency unit (Health and Safety Code Section 17958.1) and a manufactured home (Health and Safety Code Section 18007).

Does ADU Law Apply to Charter Cities and Counties?

Yes. ADU law explicitly applies to “local agencies” which are defined as a city, county, or city and county whether general law or chartered (Section 65852.2(i)(2)).

Do ADUs in California Count toward the Regional Housing Need Allocation?

Yes, local governments may report ADUs as progress toward Regional Housing Need Allocation pursuant to Government Code Section 65400 based on the actual or anticipated affordability. See below frequently asked questions for JADUs for additional discussion.

Must ADU Ordinances Be Submitted to the Department of Housing and Community Development?

Yes, ADU ordinances must be submitted to the State Department of Housing and Community Development within 60 days after adoption, including amendments to existing ordinances. However, upon submittal, the ordinance is not subject to a Department review and findings process similar to housing element law (GC Section 65585)