Apply for Detached ADU with Pre-Approved Plans

The City of Oakland has developed a program to encourage the construction of detached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) by offering a selection of pre-approved building plans for use on properties with Single-Family or Multi-Family homes that can be downloaded from this page at no charge.

Before You Start

Ready to get started? First, make sure you are registered and activated at our Online Permit Center. For instructions, please visit our Planning & Building Video Tutorials webpage.

How to Apply

Permit Requirements

  1. Step One: Assess Project Feasibility

    Review the Zoning Criteria Checklist on pages 7-9 of either our Single-Family Application or Multi-Family Application to determine the feasibility of constructing one or more ADUs on your property. Please note that different separation distances from Single-Family, Two-Family and Multi-Family residences are required.

    The Planning Bureau must review your site to determine if a pre-approved ADU plan is suitable for your location. Pre-approved plans may not be an option in certain neighborhoods or districts of the City. To verify that a pre-approved ADU is compatible with your site, please contact the City of Oakland's Planning Bureau at (510) 238-3911 or contact us through our Permit Questions Portal.

  2. Step Two: Prepare Site Plan

    Prepare a Site Plan showing all existing structures, easements, utilities, and proposed location. See our Sample Site Plan and pre-approved plans for a Studio ADU, Single-Bedroom ADU or Two-Bedroom ADU. Note: The Sample Site Plan is illustrative only and not intended to reflect all of the site plan requirements from the application checklist for a specific project. An applicant should follow the checklist requirements for the site plan to address their project’s specific circumstances.

  3. Step Three: Submit Your Planning/Zoning Application
  4. Step Four: Submit Your Building Permit Application
    • Ensure that all required information, checklist, documents, and plans are accurate and complete as outlined in the "Building Requirements, Step 2" section on page 2 of either the Single-Family Application or Multi-Family Application
    • Once advised by the Zoning Division, submit a Building Worksheet through our Online Permit Center
    • In the Worksheet, upload your completed ADU Application (Building Requirements), a signed Hold Harmless Agreement, your Title 24 Energy Documentation (find a certified CA Building Energy Consultant), and associated plans and documents
    • Once all fees are paid, all information has been received, and all issues have been resolved with your plans, your Building Permit will be issued for construction within 10 business days. Note: Separate School District developer fees may be owed prior to permit issuance.
  5. Step Five: Application Review

    Once we receive your application and have created it in our system, we will review your plans. If your plans require corrections or if we need further information, we will contact you. Depending on our workload and the complexity of the project, the process may take between 6-8 weeks from the date the City receives a completed application to the date when we issue your permit (subject to time limits set forth in California Government Code 65852.2).

Need to Know


Call (510) 238-3911 or find quick answers through our Permit & Services Questions Portal. You may also schedule an appointment with Permit Counter staff during open hours.


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