Building an ADU in Oakland, California

Learn permits, rules, and guides to building in Alameda County
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Overview

Oakland is located in Alameda County in California. Oakland has a total population of 390724 over a land mass of 55.79 Square Miles. When it comes to ADUs, the city allows for 1+ ADUs on a given property, and a square footage of 850-1,000 sf

Number of ADUs Allowed

1+

Size of ADU Allowed

850-1,000 sf

Types of ADUs Allowed

Detached, Junior, Attached

Permit Cost

Coming Soon

Number of ADUs allowed

Under state law, each single-family home may now construct at least one ADU. Owner occupied single-family properties may construct one ADU and one Junior ADU. Multi-family properties, per every four existing residential units, may construct one ADU, so long as the existing units were legally established.

Property Requirements

Residential properties will be allowed to construct up to 850 sq.ft. for a one bedroom ADU or up to 1,000 sq.ft. for a two bedroom ADU, regardless of the underlying zoning standards of the property. A Junior Accessort Dwelling Unit (JADU) is allowed up to 500 sq.ft.. According to Califronia Residential Code, the minimum size of any living unit is 150 sq.ft. (including Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessort Dwelling Unit (JADU)s). ~ According To AB68

Types of ADUs Allowed

Attached ADU

An attached ADU is one that is attached to your house. Also know as Addition ADUs or “bump-out ADUs. These types of ADUs can be accessed from the primary house with a door in the connection point, but also can be independent of the main home.

Dettached ADU

A detached ADU is not connected to your primary house. The dwelling needs to be within your property setbacks and allowable building size (both height and square footage).

Junior ADU

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are named this way because they are small (up to 500 square feet).

In California, the recent state bills AB68 and AB 881 permits both an ADU and a Junior ADU (JADU) on the same lot with a proposed or existing single-family dwelling. This means you can have two units on your lot: ADU, and JADU.

Property Requirements

Ownership
Between between 2020 and 2025, owner occupancy requirements will not apply to new Accessory Dwelling Units. (applicable to new construction and conversion units) ~ SB13
Number of ADUs Allowed
Under state law, each single-family home may now construct at least one ADU. Owner occupied single-family properties may construct one ADU and one Junior ADU. Multi-family properties, per every four existing residential units, may construct one ADU, so long as the existing units were legally established.
ADU Size
Single family and multi-family residential parcels will not be subject to the minimum lot size of the underlying zoning district or by ordinance for ADU projects. ~ AB-68
Parking
Replacement parking shall not apply to lots which convert an existing garage to an Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. ~ AB68
Height
Category One: No height restriction Category Two: For attached or detached ADUs outside required setbacks, height limits are consistent with standards for that zone. For detached ADUs within a required side or rear yard, maximum wall height is 10 feet and roof height is 14 feet.
Fire Safety
An ADU is only required to provide fire sprinklers if sprinklers are required for the Primary Unit. The fire flow and water pressure on the adjoining streets must meet minimum Fire Marshal requirements.
Utility Connections
Category One: No new or separate utility connection shall be required. Category Two: A new or separate utility connection may be required, but the connection fee or capacity charge shall be proportionate to the burden of ADU on the water or sewer system.
Aesthetic
Category One: No architectural compatibility requirements are applicable. Category Two: Must be clearly subordinate to the primary dwelling in size and location; exterior materials must match or be visually compatible.
Set backs
The maximum required setback for a detached new construction Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be no more than 4 feet from the rear and side property lines. Setbacks will not be required for Accessory Dwelling Units and JADUs converted from existing space that was legally eastablished. Attached Accessory Dwelling Units and conversions from existing space to be expanded will be required to comply with the setbacks of the underlying zone. ~ Updated: State Law AB-68

Design Review

Design review exemption, to be processed within 120 days of application receipt. The application will be considered, without discretionary review or a hearing. No public notice is required, and public input cannot be considered per State law.

Next Steps

To get started on your ADU, here are some first steps.

Call Your City

Search Google for your city’s contact number. An example would “City of Phoenix Residential Permits Contact Number”

You can call the main line and get directed to the permitting department.

Ask these questions...

1) Can I put a secondary home on my lot (Accessory Dwelling Unit)
2) What are my livable setbacks, and ADU size regulations?
3) Can I put a prefabricated guest house on my property?

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