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california senate bill 9 (SB9)

On September 16, 2021, Governor Newsom signed California Senate Bill 9 into law aimed at streamlining housing permitting and increasing density to create more inclusive and vibrant neighborhoods across the State.

what does SB9 do?

The bill mandates local jurisdictions, such as the City of Sacramento, to ministerially approve (pass or fail checklist) two-unit dwellings and a subdivision of one lot into two (urban lot split) in any single-unit dwelling zone.

The full text from Senate Bill 9 can be found by clicking here.

When is SB9 Effective?

The bill is effective beginning January 1, 2022.

How Does This Apply to the City of Sacramento?

Beginning January 1, 2022, the City of Sacramento will begin accepting applications under SB9 for Duplex Development and Urban Lot Splits.

All SB9 applications must meet the following parameters:

  • In the Single-Unit Dwelling (R-1) or Rural Estate (RE) Zones. Find your property’s zoning by clicking here
  • Cannot be in a Historic District or Landmark Designated Property.
  • Owner must verify that the property’s Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&R) or Homeowner Association (HOA) rules are not violated by SB9.
  • Not within or on sensitive areas like wetlands, earthquake fault zones, conservation land, FEMA flood plains, high fire hazard zones, farmland, and hazardous waste sites.
  • Cannot involve the demolition or alteration of structures if the property contains:
  • Affordable housing; or
  • Rent controlled housing; or
  • Housing withdrawn from the rental market in the past fifteen (15) years; or
  • Housing occupied by a tenant within the last three (3) years; if unit was occupied by a tenant within the last three (3) years, no more than 25% of demolition is allowed for the exterior walls.

The following regulations pertain to Duplex Developments and the Urban Lot Splits.

1. Duplex Development: A maximum of two (2) dwelling units (attached or detached). Any existing dwellings, including accessory dwelling units (ADU) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADU), will count towards the two (2) units.

a.  Setbacks:  Minimum four (4)-foot interior side and rear yard.  Front yard and street-side yard setbacks must comply with the base zone requirement (R-1 or RE).

b.  Distance between structures:  No minimum distance between structures, except where required by Building and Fire Code.

c.  Lot Coverage:  Lot coverage of the R-1 or RE zone applies, except for units that are 800 square feet.

d.  Parking:  Minimum of one off-street parking space per unit unless the parcel is:

i.  Within 1/2-mile walking distance of a high-quality transit corridor or major transit stop; or

ii. Within one block of a car share vehicle.

e.  Design:  The project must comply with the City's Citywide Infill Housing Design Standards.

2.  Urban Lot Split: Any parcel in a R-1 or RE zone may be subdivided to create two (2) new parcels. Parcels previously subdivided using SB9 cannot reapply for the urban lot split application under SB9.

a. Lot Size: Each new parcel must be a minimum of 1,200 square feet or 40% of the original lot and proportional in size (e.g., 60/40 lot size ratio).

b. Number of Dwellings/Units: A maximum two (2) dwellings or units are allowed on each lot, for a total of four (4) dwellings. The same development standards (e.g., setbacks, floor area, parking, design, etc.) apply as noted above under Duplex Development.

c. Owner Occupant Requirements: For urban lot split applicants, the property owner must sign an affidavit stating they intend to occupy one of the units as their primary residence for a minimum of three (3) years.

d. Ownership Restriction: Property owners who are applying for the urban lot split cannot own any adjacent parcel next to the parcel they are applying for.

e. Dedications and Easements: Easements may be required to convey public utilities, access, and other services. Offsite dedications or improvements cannot be required.

Next Steps

City staff will bring forward an emergency ordinance to the City Council for adoption. The City Council hearing is tentatively scheduled for December 14, 2021. The City Council agenda, staff report, and links to watch and participate in the public hearing can be found by clicking here.

Upcoming Webinars Hosted by City of Sacramento

  • Monday, November 15, 2021, 12:00-1:00pm

    Watch the webinar by clicking here

  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 6:00-7:00pm

Watch the webinar by clicking here

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Please click here to find a list of frequently asked questions.

Staff Contact

For questions, please email planning@cityofsacramento.org