Amended ADU Ordinance

passed in October 2020 to align with CA State Laws

  • 1 Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (created mainly within existing primary residence, less than 501 square feet with efficiency kitchen) and 1 detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) are allowed on any single-family lot if the ADU is less than 851 square feet and no higher than 16 feet.

  • ADUs shall not exceed 850 square feet for a one-bedroom and 1,200 square feet for more than one bedroom, but ADUs larger than 850 square feet are subject to lot coverage and floor-to-area ratio (FAR) standards.

  • All new ADUs must comply with objective design standards.

  • ADUs are subject to daylight plane rules unless this would prohibit building an 850 square foot ADU.

  • ADUs are to be approved ministerially (by staff).

  • ADUS cannot be rented for less than 30 days.

  • New attached and detached ADUs must have minimum rear and side setbacks of 4 feet.

  • Each year the City will send out an ADU rental income survey encouraging voluntary responses in order to aggregate data that could show that the City is meeting its regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) for lower-income and moderate-income households.

  • Only 1 uncovered parking space can be required for a new ADU; if a garage is converted to an ADU, the parking does not need to be replaced.

Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA)

November 2020 draft numbers

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) has published draft targets for each bay area city with regards to housing production.  Each city will then be required to submit a Housing Element to the state outlining how they will reach these targets.  The (draft) numbers for Los Altos are as follows: