Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)

2021 ADU & JADU Development Standards

ADU

An ADU is an attached or detached residential dwelling unit which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking (i.e., stove, refrigerator, and sink), and sanitation (i.e., bathroom, with shower or bathtub) on the same parcel where an existing single-family or multi-family dwelling is situated. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units, and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.

Types of ADU

There are two types of ADUs - an ADU and a JADU. All residential lots can have one ADU and one JADU.

There are three kinds of ADU construction:

  • Detached: The unit is separated from the primary structure
  • Attached: The unit is attached to the primary structure
  • Converted Existing Space: Space (e.g., master bedroom, attached garage, storage area, or similar use, or an accessory structure) on the lot of the primary residence that is converted into an independent living unit
  • Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU): A specific type of conversion of existing space that is contained entirely within an existing or proposed single-family residence

Single-Family ADU Development StandardsExamples of the Different Types of ADUS

ADUs are permitted in single-family residential zoned properties (R-1). All ADUs shall be constructed with independent access separate from the main residence entrance. All ADUs shall have a living/sleeping area, a kitchen or kitchenette (i.e., stove or hotplate, refrigerator, and sink), and a bathroom that includes a shower or bathtub. ADUs are no longer subject to Lot Coverage and Floor Area Ratios of the city's zoning designation. The following are single-family ADU development standards:

Detached

  • Maximum of two stories or 25 feet
  • Not to exceed 1,200 square
  • ADU shall match the architectural design of the existing or proposed main dwelling.Example of Where a JADU Can Be Constructed

Attached

  • Maximum of two stories or 25 feet
  • Cannot exceed 50% of the existing main dwelling unit
  • ADU shall match the architectural design of the existing or proposed main dwelling

‍Setbacks

ADUs shall adhere to the state's setbacks of four feet from the side and rear yard and must remain 6 feet from the existing main dwelling. Existing accessory structures and single-family homes that are converted into ADUs are exempt from meeting the required setbacks however, any expansion shall meet the four-foot side and rear yard setback, as pursuant to Government Code Section 65852.2.

‍Parking

All new ADUs will be required to provide one additional parking space, cover, or uncovered if the proposed ADU is not within a one-half (.5) mile radius of public transit station (bus stops included). However, for accessory structures or a portion of the existing residence that is converted into an ADU, no additional parking is required. An ADU cannot have direct access to a garage if the proposed or existing garage has less than three spaces.

‍Junior ADU Development Standards

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are very small living units created within the existing main dwelling. The JADU must have a living/sleeping area, and a kitchen or kitchenette (i.e., stove or hotplate, refrigerator, and sink). A bathroom is not required, however, if a bathroom is not provided, the JADU shall have direct access into the existing main dwelling unit. A JADU cannot exceed a total of 500 square feet and any expansion of the existing main dwelling to accommodate the JADU shall not exceed 150 square feet.

Setbacks

JADUs shall adhere to the state's setbacks of four feet from the side and rear yard. Existing single-family homes that are converted into JADUs are exempt from meeting the required setbacks as pursuant to Government Code Section 65852.2.

Parking

Parking is not required for JADUs, however, an ADU cannot have direct access to a garage if the proposed or existing garage has less than three spaces.

Multi-Family Lots ADU Development Standards

ADUs are permitted on multi-family zoned properties (R-2 and R-3). All ADUs shall be constructed with independent access separate from the main residence entrance. All ADUs shall have a living/sleeping area, a kitchen or kitchenette (i.e., stove or hotplate, refrigerator, and sink), and a bathroom that includes a shower or bathtub. ADUs are no longer subject to Lot Coverage and Floor Area Ratios of the city's zoning designation.

Detached

Not more than two accessory dwelling units that are located on a lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling, but are detached from that multifamily dwelling and are subject to a height limit of 16 feet and four-foot rear yard and side setbacks.

Conversion Within

Multiple accessory dwelling units within the portions of existing multifamily dwelling structures that are not used as livable space, including, but not limited to, storage rooms, boiler rooms, passageways, attics, basements, or garages if each unit complies with state building standards for dwellings.

At least one accessory dwelling unit within an existing multifamily dwelling and shall allow up to 25% of the existing multifamily dwelling units.

Setbacks

ADUs shall adhere to the state's setbacks of four feet from the side and rear yard. Existing accessory structures and portions of multi-family developments that are converted into ADUs are exempt from meeting the required setbacks as pursuant to Government Code Section 65852.2.

Parking

All new ADUs will be required to provide one additional parking space, cover, or uncovered if the proposed ADU is not within a one-half mile radius of public transit station (bus stops included). However, for accessory structures or a portion of the existing residence that is converted into an ADU, no additional parking is required. An ADU cannot have direct access to a garage if the proposed or existing garage has less than three spaces.

‍Application Process

An ADU requires a Building Permit which applicants will obtain by submitting for Plan Check with the Building Division. The Building Division will then route plans to each of the applicable Departments/Divisions for review. Upon receiving departmental approvals, the applicant will then be issued a Building Permit.

ADU Legislation

‍Read the Accessory Dwelling Unit State Assembly Bill 68 on the California Legislative Information website.

ADU Status Reports

View the ADU status reports that have been provided to the Planning Commission in the Archive Center.

ADU Status Report, July 19, 2021

ADU Status Report, February 16, 2021

ADU Status Report, May 18, 2020

ADU Status Report, September 12, 2019