The Town Council adopted Ordinance No. 992 on January 21, 2020 to repeal and replace the prior version of Chapter 18.31 (Accessory Dwelling Units) and to amend Chapters 18.04 (Definitions), 18.18 (Special Purpose Overlay District), and 18.20 (Off-street Parking & Loading) to ensure internal consistency within the Zoning Ordinance. Under Ordinance No. 992 and the existing Corte Madera Municipal Code, interior ADUs converted from existing floor space (for example, basements, garages, and existing accessory structures), and all Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), are not subject to the existing ADU capacity limitations in the Christmas Tree Hill Overlay District (CTH). On Monday, March 2, 2020, the Town Council will hold a public hearing for consideration of additional amendments to Chapters 18.18 and 18.31 of the Municipal Code. If ultimately adopted, the proposed amendments that the Council will consider would (1) make ADUs converted from existing floor space, and all JADUs, subject to the ADU capacity limitations in CTH, (2) provide for an option for discretionary review for non-clerestory windows in certain ADUs, and (3) make additional non-substantive clean-up changes and clarifications to Chapter 18.31, none of which change the meaning or intent of Ordinance No. 992. The Planning Commission considered the proposed zoning ordinance amendments at their February 11, 2020 meeting, and adopted Resolution 20-003 recommending that the Town Council adopt the proposed amendments to Chapters 18.18 and 18.31.
After several years of implementing the Town's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance (Ordinance 961 and 962, adopted December 6, 2016), staff identified needed changes and opportunities to improve the existing ordinance. The changes made with the January 21, 2020 Ordinance are broken into three broad categories, which include: 1) changes necessary to comply with current state law; 2) changes to clarify existing regulations; and 3) changes in existing policy that better reflect the Town's ADU goals. On May 14, 2019 and August 13, 2019, the Planning Commission discussed proposed amendments to the ADU ordinance and provided staff with recommendations and direction in preparation of a zoning ordinance amendment application. On October 22, 2019, the Planning Commission adopted Resolution No. 19-021 recommending that the Town Council repeal and replace Chapter 18.31 and approve amendments to Chapters 18.04, 18.18 and 18.20. On December 3, 2019, the Town Council introduced Ordinance No 992, which would amend Title 18 of the Corte Madera Municipal Code to (1) Amend Chapters 18.04 – Definitions, 18.18 – Special Purpose Overlay Districts, & 18.20 – Off-Street Parking And Loading, and to (2) Repeal and Replace Chapter 18.31 – Accessory Dwelling Units. Ordinance 992 was adopted at the January 21, 2020 Town Council meeting, and takes effect on February 21, 2020.