Accessory Dwelling Ordinance

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

ADU Image(Cursive).001


What is an ADU? | Benefits of an ADUContact

2019 Amendments

The City is preparing a series of proposed zoning amendments to address concerns around height and privacy of second-story accessory dwelling units (ADU), and exploring ways to incentivize one-story ADUs. These concerns stemmed from recent changes in the ADU regulations due to state law requirements. To address privacy concerns, the City is considering height restrictions and limitations on windows, stairs, and decks. To incentivize one-story ADUs, the City is considering modifications to setbacks, lot coverage, replacements/conversions, and hillside review.  These draft amendments will be reviewed by the Planning Commission on  May 21, 2019 meeting and by the City Council on June 24, 2019.  

2017 Amendments

In response to a new State Law, the City Council amended the Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance and made consistency changes to other sections of the code (Public Hearing of March 27, 2017). The new state law restricts what cities may require of new ADUs with the intent of further reducing barriers, streamlining approval, and expanding capacity to accommodate the development of ADUs.

The Cities new ordinance:

  • Removes requirement for one additional parking space with ADUs
  • Allows conversion of the garage into an ADU with replacement parking spaces on the driveway
  • Increases base maximum size from 640 sq. ft. to 700 sq. ft. and eliminates the limitation on number of bedrooms
  • Permits conversion of accessory structures into an ADU with setbacks required for fire safety
  • Allows one of the two required parking spaces for a single-family home to be uncovered and on the driveway
  • Eliminates the two-water fixture limitation for accessory buildings.
  • Other requirements -  see new Ordinance 




What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a smaller living unit on a property that has a single-family residence. It is complete with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities.  Common names for an ADU include in-law unit, secondary unit, and backyard cottage.

Benefits of an ADU

  • Extra living space for family or guests
  • Housing for aging parents, caregivers or adult children
  • Efficient use of existing infrastructure
  • Rental income


Diana O'Dell

Principal Planner

(650) 780-7236

PC Notice 10.06.15