Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance


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Update: City Council Considers Draft Changes to the ADU Ordinance

On October 26, 2015, the City Council considered proposed changes to the development requirements for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs).  By a unanimous vote, the City Council approved the proposed changes with additional modifications to the minimum rear yard setback requirement and exceptions to the homeowner residency requirement.  Highlights of the proposed changes may be viewed here.

Next Steps:  Final Adoption of ADU Ordinance

A tentative date of December 7, 2015 has been set for the City Council to consider final adoption of the new ADU development standards.  If the Council adopts the final ordinance on December 7th, the new rules will become effective 30 days after adoption on January 7, 2016.  Please be sure to check back for any updates.

Previous Meetings:

Monday, October 26, 2015

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tuesday July 1, 2014

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka secondary unit, in-law unit, granny flat, backyard cottage) is a smaller living unit on a property that has a single-family residence. It is complete with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities. Under the current ordinance, an ADU may be attached or detached from the main house, consist of no more than 1 bedroom and 640 square feet, and be located at least 20 feet from the rear and 6 feet from the side property lines. Plus, 1 uncovered parking space is required for the ADU and 2 covered parking spaces are required for the main house (all of which may be located as close to 20 feet from the front and 6 feet from the side property lines). If attached, an ADU may be 2-stories. If detached, an ADU is limited to 1-story.

General Resources on Accessory Dwelling Units:

Below are some resources to help you get started on your journey to learning more about Accessory Dwelling Units.  Please note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive list, and that there are thousands of resources that could be found online.


Michelle Littlefield
Associate Planner
(650) 780-7238

PC Notice 10.06.15