Development Services

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

On January 1, 2017, new State laws took effect to create opportunities for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also referred to as "backyard homes," "second units," "in-law units," or "granny flats." Beyond traditional market rate construction and affordable housing developments, ADUs provide an alternative, flexible housing model that can help address home supply and affordability in California.

In response to the new State regulations, the Long Beach City Council adopted an ADU Ordinance in December 2017 to enable the construction of ADUs in many residential zones within the City. The ADU Ordinance builds on the City's efforts to meet the diverse housing needs of the community, while also maintaining the character and livability of Long Beach neighborhoods.

ADU Garage Conversion Standards

New ADU Garage Conversion Standards have been designed to make it easier for applicants who intend to convert a single-story detached garage or a carport to an ADU in a single-family zone in the City. This prescriptive set of standards addresses the main requirements that permit applicants (homeowners or contractors) must present to City staff in order to pull an over-the-counter permit for a garage conversion to an ADU. This prescriptive set of standards has two (2) components:

  1. ADU-Garage Conversion Submittal Package: Consists of a permit application, instructions to complete the site and floor plan, space to attach interior and exterior photos illustrating the existing conditions of your garage, construction details to be referenced on the plans, and the ADU convenant to be recorded.
  2. ADU-Garage Conversion Reference Documents: Consists of relevant information to further assist applicants with preparation of the submittal package.

Permit applicants must complete the submittal package to the best of their abilities and present it at the time of plan check submittal to the City. Applicants must make an appointment for an over-the-counter plan review by staff from the City's Planning and Building & Safety bureaus, and pay permitting and other agency (e.g., school district) fees prior to obtaining an ADU building permit.

Starting June 17, 2019, staff from the City Planning and Building and Safety bureaus will be able to perform over-the-counter reviews of projects that fully meet the City's standards. Staff will assist applicants with adding any complementary notes or referencing details to the submittal package as long as the provisions of the standards are satisfied.