Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

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ADU Ordinance No. 18-01

UPDATE: On September 4, 2018 City Council will hold a public hearing to discuss the issue of new construction of ADUs in the front yard areas of existing homes and consider whether to initiate an amendment to Ordinance No. 18-01 to address this issue. The staff report for the hearing will be posted on the City's website prior to the hearing.

Important Information

  1. ADU OrdinanceDownload
  2. ADU State Law Download

Application Material

  1. ADU Land Use ApplicationDownload
  2. ADU Permit Submittal ChecklistDownload
  3. Certificate of Accuracy and CompletenessDownload
  4. Owner-Occupant Affidavit FormDownload
  5. Recommended Landscaping Plant ListDownload

Key ADU Ordinance Requirements and Standards

  1. Adequate Services:  Letters of service availability (e.g., water, sewer, etc.) are required.
  2. Size:
    • Efficiency Unit:  Minimum – 150 square feet; Maximum – 200 square feet.
    • Standard Unit:  Minimum – 200 square feet; Maximum – 800 square feet, but less than 50% of main dwelling.
  3. Height
    • One story and may contain a loft area, but shall not be higher than ridge of main dwelling.
    • May be located on a second story of existing dwelling or accessory structure if existing dwelling is two-story.
    • Maximum of 16 feet if located outside of all setbacks -or- 12 feet if located within a setback .
  4. Setbacks
    • For new construction – Same as base zone district.
    • For existing legally permitted structures that are nonconforming as to setbacks – May be converted to ADUs.
  5. Parking:  No additional spaces required for ADU.  If garage is being converted, replacement parking IS required and may be located in setbacks.
  6. Design:  Subordinate to main dwelling with similar exterior appearance in style, color, and materials.
  7. Owner-Occupancy:  Property owner must reside in either main dwelling or ADU for 5 years after receiving Occupancy Clearance.
  8. Rental:  May be rented, but must be for longer than 30 consecutive days.

 Permit Process & Flowchart

  1. Zoning Application Preparation – Download and fill out the ADU application, then schedule a meeting (or walk in) to meet with City Planning staff for an initial screening of the application and supporting materials.  Note: Only a “Complete” Application will be accepted by City staff.
  2. Zoning Application Acceptance – Once the ADU application is determined “Complete” by City staff, a $634.00 Application fee is due before City staff will accept the ADU application.
  3. Zoning Application Review – Upon application acceptance, City Planning staff has a maximum of 120 days to ministerially review and either approve or deny the ADU application.
  4. Planning Director Decision on Ministerial Land Use Permit [Inland] or Coastal Development Permit* [Coastal]
  5. 10-day Appeal Period
    • No Appeal of Approval:  Zoning Permit is issued once all conditions of approval are met.
      • * Note: Coastal Development Permit is “Conceptual Approval”, which still requires a separate approval by the California Coastal Commission.
    • Approval or Denial is Appealed:  Proposed ADU will require hearing before City Zoning Administrator.
      • Zoning Administrator Decision
        • ZA Final Approval:  Reaffirms prior approval, or if necessary, project is modified to address and correct legitimate issues raised within the appeal.
        • ZA Final Denial:  Proposed ADU found noncompliant with one or more applicable development standards that cannot be corrected.
  6. Building Permit Application Submittal – Full working drawings submitted to City after issuance of the Zoning Permit.
  7. Building Permit Review – All working drawings (e.g., structural, electrical, plumbing, etc.) are reviewed by City Building Inspection staff.
  8. Building Permit Issuance – Once complete and correct working drawings are approved, construction permits will be issued.
  9. Construction and Building Inspection(s) – City Building Inspection staff will schedule regular inspections during construction phase of project.
  10. Final Building Inspection Clearance – Upon completion of all construction and payment of all applicable fees, the project will be cleared for occupancy.


Over the last eight months, the City has been in the process of developing a local ordinance to regulate Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in compliance with State law. ADUs are secondary residential dwellings that provide complete and full independent living quarters and facilities for one or more persons on a lot that already has a primary dwelling. Over the past two years, the State has adopted several pieces of legislation in an effort to promote and streamline the development of ADUs. The City previously adopted ADU regulations in 2003 (Ordinance No. 03-07). However, Ordinance No. 03-07 is currently not in effect as these regulations are now inconsistent with the newly adopted State law regulating the processing and permitting of ADUs.

Recent Meetings 

The City Council adopted the new ADU Ordinance on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. The second reading of the Ordinance occurred on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. The notice is available here.  The agenda and staff report will be published here, at least 72 hours ahead of the meeting.

Previous Workshops and Meetings

On April 23, 2018, the Planning Commission held a public hearing for review of the draft ADU Ordinance and recommendation to the City Council for its adoption.

On April 23, 2018, the City Council Ordinance Review Standing Committee reviewed a Draft ADU Ordinance and provided feedback to staff.

On February 12, 2018, the City's Planning Commission held a second public workshop to discuss ADU regulations.  The purpose of this workshop was to provide the Planning Commission and the public information on new state ADU requirements and to seek feedback from the Planning Commission and the public on a new ADU ordinance for the City.  The discussion focused broadly on Fees, Parking Standards, Design Standards, Junior ADUs, and Owner & Rental Standards.   Information about the workshop can be found below:

On November 13, 2017, the City's Planning Commission held a public workshop to discuss ADUs. The purpose of this workshop was to provide the Planning Commission and the public information on new state ADU requirements and to seek feedback from the Planning Commission and the public on a new ADU ordinance. The discussion focused on what size ADUs the City should allow, how the City should process applications for ADUs, and where on the lot the City should allow an ADU to be located.  Information about the workshop can be found below:

On September 19, 2017, City Council provided staff with feedback regarding ADUs. At that meeting, the Council directed staff to commence work on a new ADU ordinance that would comply with state law. The staff report, presentation, and a video of this item can be found below: