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Posted on: September 20, 2023

Supervisors Approve 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments

Supervisors Approved 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments

On September 12, 2023, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments to remove barriers to housing production in unincorporated Nevada County; this reflects the Planning Commission’s June 26, 2023, recommendation.

The amendments to Nevada County’s Land Use Development Codes (local ordinance for Nevada County development including zoning, subdivisions, and other related activities) are intended to bring codes into compliance with recent changes to state law and to continue to remove barriers to housing production while fostering a rural quality of life. The amendments build from recent state legislation and Nevada County Policies, which require Planning Department staff to evaluate density increases and to identify and remove constraints to housing development.

The improvements in this amendment include allowing every residential property to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also known as a granny unit or in-law unit, or a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU), a smaller type of ADU that is up to 500 square feet within a home, as long as septic capacity allows.  Other changes in the amendments include allowing ADUs to utilize the existing septic system for the primary residence if it has adequate capacity and creating streamlined permitting processes for duplexes and other housing types, in-home daycares, and residential solar. 

Nevada County’s Planning Department conducted a variety of outreach over the last two years with stakeholder groups and members of the public. Throughout the planning effort, the goal was to generate meaningful, inclusive community participation. Community members and stakeholders provided diverse perspectives on removing constraints on the development, retention, and/or rehabilitation of housing in unincorporated Nevada County, which were included in the amendments.

The changes will go into effect on October 13th, but in the meantime, people can review the adopted changes on the Planning Department’s website at or reach out to the Planning Department to see what types of housing they can build on their property. 

The 2023 Housing Ordinance Amendments were prepared in support of the Nevada County General Plan Housing Element Policies and Nevada County Board of Supervisors Housing Objective to remove barriers to housing production in unincorporated Nevada County.

The Supervisors have actively responded to the shared housing crisis by unanimously adopting a Board Objective to coordinate with local jurisdictions, developers, and other partners to facilitate the development of and access to affordable and workforce housing development.  On January 26, 2021, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors directed the Planning Department to apply for the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s one-time Regional Early Action Planning (REAP) grant funding. This grant funding focuses on conducting planning activities that will accelerate housing production.

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