Development Services

Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Requirements

On January 1, 2020, new State law took effect to create opportunities for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) at single-family dwellings (Cal. Gov’t Code section 65852.2). Additional changes to State law now allow ADUs (but not JADUs) at multi-family dwellings as well in certain situations. 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.

ADUs and JADUs are separate from the recently adopted State law known as SB 9 (Cal. Gov’t Code section 65852.21), effective January 1, 2022. In some situations, but not all, it may be possible to have two principal units through SB 9, as well as an ADU/JADU. Learn more about building housing units through SB 9.

The documents below provide the City’s guidelines and policy on ADUs.

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 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 covenant to be recorded.
  2. ADU-Garage Conversion Reference Documents: Consists of relevant information to further assist applicants with preparation of the submittal package.

For zoning questions on ADUs, call the Planning Bureau at 562.570.6194. For building code questions on ADUs, call Building & Safety Bureau at 562.570.7648.

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.