Second Dwelling Unit Permit

What is Second Dwelling Unit?

Second Dwelling Housing (SDH) is a provision of State law which allows a second dwelling unit for housing on parcels zoned for single-family or multiple family residences. A second dwelling unit may be established by the conversion of an attic, basement, or other portion of the existing house or a detached second unit may be constructed.

The Planning Department will provide you with zoning information. It is helpful to have your Assessor’s Parcel Number with you to identify your property.

Second Dwelling Housing requires an approved permit prior to installation or construction of the second dwelling. There are certain requirements that must be met:

  • There must be an existing house on the property.
  • The maximum square footage for the additional dwelling unit is 1,200 square feet.
  • The dwelling unit maybe attached or detached or may be a mobile home.
  • If the dwelling is attached, it cannot increase the floor area of the primary residence by more than 30 percent.
  • The owner of the property must occupy either the main unit or the second dwelling unit.
  • The unit is not intended for sale.
  • All zoning requirement must be met.

How do I apply for an Second Dwelling Unit Permit?

Your application may be prepared by a registered architect, registered civil engineer, licensed land surveyor, professional planner, or yourself and submitted to the Planning Department for review.  Your application must include the square footage of the second dwelling unit, the Assessor’s Parcel Number, and the name and address of the property owner and of the person making the application. Submit the following with your application:

  • Photographs of the property, a location map and a scaled plot plan showing everything that exists on the parcel (buildings and uses, parking area, driveways, well, septic system, setbacks, and lot dimensions) together with the proposed location of the second dwelling unit.
  • A floor plan and the elevations of any proposed buildings.

What happens after I apply?

The Planning Department will review your application and also refer it to various departments within the City who may request that conditions be attached to the approval of your home occupation permit.  A project planner may visit the site.

Your application is reviewed by the Planning Director and may be approved, approved subject to certain conditions (nearly all approvals do have conditions), or denied.

What determines whether my application will be approved?

Based on the information you supply and established criteria, the City determines whether the use you wish to make of your property will be detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to property or improvements in the neighborhood.

What types of conditions might be imposed?

You might be required to make certain property improvements before you can receive approval. Maintain yard setbacks may be listed as a condition, as well as ensuring that your permit does not supersede deed restrictions.

What can I do to give my application the best chance of approval?

  • When planning your project, consider how you can complete it in such away that it harmonizes with its surroundings and does not disrupt the neighborhood by creating undue noise or traffic.
  • You must demonstrate that your plan should be approved. When your application is submitted, make sure the most accurate information is provided.

Can I appeal the decision?

During the 30-day appeal period after the Planning Director’s decision is made, you or any other interested party may appeal the decision to the City Council. Even if your application is approved, you may still appeal any of the conditions that are attached.

How long does it take to get a Second Dwelling Unit Permit?

The entire process takes approximately 30 to 45 days from the time you submit a completed application to the Director’s decision.

If you appeal the decision, the City Clerk will assign a tentative hearing date when your appeal can be heard. The City Council meetings are on the second Thursday of each month.

What fees must I pay?

You must pay an application fee and recording fees.

Note: Development of a second dwelling unit may be subject to school fees.

What’s the next step in this process?

Obtain a Second Dwelling Unit application packet from the Planning Department. The packet explains the general procedures for applying for a permit, fees, and other related matters. The application must be completed by a registered architect, registered civil engineer, licensed land surveyor, professional planner, or yourself and have notarized signature by the property owner or owners.

You should also review the section of the City Zoning Ordinance that regulates the zone in which your project is located (a Planner can help you identify which section of the ordinance you need). After you have become familiar with these documents, we recommend you prepare some very preliminary plans and bring them to the Planning Department counter so that staff can review them.

If you are new to Weed or unfamiliar with the permit system you may also wish to make an appointment to meet with staff who can explain the permit system, the different agencies involved and the various costs and requirements. Schedule your Pre Application Meeting by calling (530) 938-5020.