By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ripon Planning Commission will revisit ADU ordinance on detached structures
ripon city logo 333

The recently-approved Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance could be tweaked a bit at the 6 p.m. Ripon Planning Commission meeting on Monday.

Two specific issues were raised during the public hearing process, in particular, detached accessory units — the massing of structures and the impact on neighboring properties, and the lock of such detached ADUs.

“Currently, detached accessory structures can be built upon any residential lot with the following parameters,” said Planning Director Ken Zuidervaart in his report.

Included was that any detached accessory structure, within the building envelope, shall adhere to the setbacks and height limitations (no more than 12 feet) as that of the primary residential unit on the lot.

The latter has led to some complaining about massing from the detached ADU.

Zuidervaart noted that City Council, in the past, has made some adjustments to the height regulations to protect rear neighbors, most notably the required setback from rear property line (10 feet).

“Some of the complaints can attributed to NIMBY-ism (not in my back yard) while others have to do with elevation differences between lots, which can make buildings / structures appear taller to a neighboring property,” he added.

Staff believes that one potential area that can be adjusted, if the Commission desires, would be to provide further protections for neighboring properties by eliminating the option of sloped or shed roofs, or requiring that a sloped or shed roof have low end face with the rear neighbor.

Zuidervaart said that the second option may not provide the same protection with the side neighbor.

In terms of appearance, the metal building-type ADU has received a few complaints.

The city does not delve into architectural review for custom homes and / or outbuildings – that task has been left up to the homeowner.

Zuidervaart pointed out that there are several reasons why the city has yet to get involved in this matter.

“First, it adds extra time and steps to building plan submittals for such project.

“Second, who would be tasked with making a determination on architectural style / compatibility, especially if a neighbor doesn’t agree with that decision.

“Third, this could add tremendous cost to such buildings / structures.

“And lastly, the city has tried to walk the fine line of too governmental control,” he said.

Zuidervaart mentioned that the Commission could opt to into this aspect of ADUs by adding a simple amendment.

This might include the architecture of an ADU being required to match or compliment the main residential structure on site, from house colors to roof or siding materials.

The Planning Commission will also conduct a major site review for the Diamond Pet Foods warehouse facility, calling for construction of a 130,950 square-foot warehouse facility with 10 truck loading docks on to the existing facility.

The meeting will be held in Council Chambers, 259 N. Wilma Ave.

The public is welcome to attend the open session but must abide by CDC COVID-19 guidelines.

For more information, log on to