Accessory Dwelling Units

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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a residential dwelling unit that is detached from, attached to, or located within the living area of a single-family residence, and that provides complete independent living facilities for sleeping, eating, and sanitation.The following information is to provide guidance to applicants interested in creating new ADUs on their properties.  Applicants should check with their design professionals or City planning staff for ADU questions at or (949) 361-6197

Types of ADUs

There are three types of ADUs allowed on residentially zoned lots with a detached single-family dwelling unit.The three types are described and shown below.

  1. Repurposed ADU. A repurposed ADU is contained entirely within the interior habitable living area of the primary dwelling. This may include basements and attics, but not a garage or any uninhabitable structure. Therefore, garage conversions are attached or detached ADUs, not repurposed ADUs.
  2. Attached ADU. The ADU is attached to the primary dwelling as an addition to the building or resulting from the conversion of a garage or other inhabitable area (e.g. storage room).
  3. Detached ADU. The ADU is within an accessory building detached from the primary dwelling. The accessory building may be new or a conversion of an existing structure, such as a garage.

Development Standards

ADUs must meet requirements in Section 17.28.270 of the Zoning Ordinance, that went into effect on April 5, 2019. Standards for ADUs in the City’s Zoning Ordinance were amended to be consistent with changes to State law that went into effect in 2017. For a summary of ADU standards, click the link below.

Review Process

ADUs require a building permit and a deed restriction. To apply for a building permit, the property owner must complete a Submittal Checklist for Planning Division review at the public counter. A planner will review the checklist to confirm required ADU information is provided and the form is initialed by the property owner. Prior to the issuance of a building permit, a deed restriction must be recorded to the property’s title in the County Recorder's office and a copy must be filed with the City Planner. Below is a link to the City's Submittal Checklist packet that includes an overview of fees and other resources. For details on building permit fees, please contact Nancy Vrooman, Senior Permit Technician, at