Accessory Dwelling Units-Updated February 2020

Accessory Dwelling Unit

An accessory dwelling (ADU), also called commonly called an granny flat or in-law quarters, may be added residential properties with a single-family home.  The ADU may be attached or detached from the primary residence, or can be created through the conversion of existing space such as a garage. 

Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit 

A junior accessory dwelling (JADU) is an additional independent living unit created through the conversion of an existing bedroom within a single-family residence.  Single-family residences may have one ADU and one JADU.

New State Laws for 2020

In October of 2019, Governor Newsom signed into law a suite of bills encouraging development of Accessory Dwelling Units. These bills addressed many aspects of ADU development and permitting, with the goal of encouraging creation of more living units to address California’s housing crisis.

The changes to State law took effect January 1, 2020, and limit the ability of local jurisdictions to regulate ADUs. The city’s Zoning Code  is in process of being amended to be in compliance with the new legislation.   In the meantime, to assist those considering the placement of an ADU or JADU on their property the city has created an overview sheet of the new regulations. This sheet, Interim ADU and JADU Regulations, will be used to review new projects until the city’s zoning regulations are formally updated.  

How to Apply for  a Permit for an ADU or JADU

Plans will need to be submitted in order to obtain a Building Permit. Pick up an application package from the Building and Safety Division for a list of plans and information that is required for your project.

Additional Information

Contact the Planning Division at 916-727-4740 or by e-mail