Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are attached or detached accessory dwellings that are accessory to primary Residential Facilities located on the same lot and provide complete independent facilities for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. See below for new applications and how-to guides that reflect the latest requirements.

Reports, Guides & Tools

Read our ADU report, check out our guides or calculate the cost of building an ADU.

State & Local Codes

Learn more about relevant state and local code requirements for ADUs.

Apply Now

Select from the following to apply for your ADU today!

Pre-Approved ADU Plans

The City of Oakland now offers "off-the-shelf" pre-approved ADU building plans to be used on properties with Single-Family, Two-Family or Multi-Family homes. These permit-ready plans are complete sets of construction drawings that conform to the latest codes. Review the sample plans and apply today!

Types of ADUs

Here are the new categories of ADUs under California state law:


  • JUNIOR ADU (JADU): Involves conversion of space within the building envelope of an existing or proposed One-Family Residential Facility, resulting in a living unit of not more than 500 sq. ft., requiring owner-occupancy in the JADU or primary dwelling unit.
  • CATEGORY ONE ADU: Involves either conversion of space within an existing One-Family Residential Facility, or conversion or rebuild of an existing accessory structure; includes no expansion of the existing building envelope other than up to 150 sq. ft. for purposes of accommodating ADU access and egress only.
  • CATEGORY TWO ADU: Involves construction of a new detached or attached accessory structure, including an exterior addition to an existing or proposed One-Family Residential Facility to accommodate the ADU.


  • CATEGORY ONE ADU: Conversion of existing non-habitable space located within portions of an existing Two-Family or Multi-Family Residential Facilities, such as storage rooms, boiler rooms, passageways, attics, basements or garages.
  • CATEGORY TWO ADU: Construction of new detached structure(s) or conversion or rebuild of existing detached structure(s) on lots with an existing Two-Family or Multi-Family Residential Facility. Conversion or rebuild of existing detached accessory structure(s) involves no expansion of the existing building envelope(s).
  • CATEGORY THREE ADU: Construction of a new or conversion of an existing accessory structure attached to a primary Multifamily Residential Facility for the purpose of creating only one ADU on the lot. This type of ADU precludes the creation of any other ADU types on the lot.

* Change of Occupancy regulations for the California Existing Building Code (CEBC) may apply when adding ADUs.


Banner photo credit: Valley Home Development Corp. & Prefab ADU

To help expand housing options for Oakland residents, the City is streamlining the process for property owners to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their lots. As of January 1, 2020, state and local laws surrounding ADUs have changed.

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