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2021 ADU & JADU Development Standards

What this page covers:

  1. What is an ADU;
  2. What kind of ADUs are there;
  3. Single-family ADU Development Standards;
  4. Junior ADU Development Standards;
  5. Multi-family Lots ADU Development Standards;
  6. Application Process;
  7. ADU Legislation; and
  8. ADU Status Reports.

What is an 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. 

 

What kind of ADUs are there?

There are two (2) types of ADUs - an ADU and a JADU. All residential lots can have one (1) ADU and one (1) JADU. 

There are three (3) 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

Examples of the different types of ADUs.

Example of where a JADU can be constructed.

Single-family ADU Development Standards

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 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 (2) stories or 25 feet.

Not to exceed 1,200 square.

ADU shall match the architectural design of the existing or proposed main dwelling.

Attached:

Maximum of two (2) 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 (4) 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 (4) foot side and rear yard setback, as pursuant to Government Code Section 65852.2.

 

Parking:

All new ADUs will be required to provide one (1) 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 (3) spaces.

 

Junior ADU Development Standards

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are a 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 a 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 (4) 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 (3) spaces.

 

Multi-family Lots ADU Development Standards

ADUs are permitted on multi-family  zoned properties (R-2 & 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 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 (1) accessory dwelling unit within an existing multifamily dwelling and shall allow up to 25 percent of the existing multifamily dwelling units.

 

Setbacks:

ADUs shall adhere to the state’s setbacks of four (4) 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 (1) 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 (3) 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

Accessory Dwelling Unit State Assembly Bill 68

ADU Status Reports

The following status reports have been provided to the Planning Commission.

September 2019 ADU Status Report

May 2020 ADU Status Report

February 2021 ADU Status Report

 Permits, Licenses, & Applications

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