Posted On February 19, 2020
ADU (also “second unit” or “granny unit”), short for Accessory Dwelling Unit, means an attached or detached residential dwelling unit, situated on the same lot as an existing primary single-family dwelling. The ADU provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.
Homeowners are scrambling to add value to their properties by building Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), a.k.a. guest houses or granny flats. In Los Angeles alone, permit applications spiked a whopping 2,500% from 2016 to 2017. ADU’s accounted for 23% of all plans permitted in Los Angeles in 2019.
Want to build an ADU? Here’s what you need to know to obtain a permit for an ADU:
Each city and county has its own requirements for obtaining a permit for an ADU. You should always seek the advice of a licensed architect with specific residential ADU experience.
Can an ADU be on the second floor?
Yes, in most municipalities, and the ADU can have its own private entry or it may have an entry within the existing main dwelling.
Can an ADU be a two story structure?
Yes in most cities.
How far must I be from my neighbor’s property line?
The setbacks, or minimum distances from your property line, and heights will vary by district. Most cities do not require more than a four foot side and rear yard setback. Be sure to speak with a licensed architect.
What are my parking requirements?
Many cities may not require replacement parking when a garage, carport or covered parking is converted or demolished to create an ADU, or is converted to an ADU. In lieu of an additional parking space, required for an ADU, you may qualify for an exemption if your ADU is within half a mile of a local bus stop.