To help expand housing options for Oakland residents, the City has streamlined the process for property owners to build Secondary / Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their lots. Please see below for general requirements, check out our Secondary / Accessory Dwelling Units Overview Handout, review the Zoning and Building Code Requirements, and apply to get your own ADU approved!
Occupancy, Rental, and Sale
- May only be rented for 30 consecutive days or longer.
- Both the Single-Family Home and Secondary / Accessory Dwelling Unit may be rented. Business taxes are required.
- May not be sold separately from Single-Family Home.
Maximum Number of Units
- Only one ADU is allowed, only on lots with a Single-Family Home.
- Separate electrical meters are required for each unit, and occupants of both units must have access to all electrical panels, disconnects & devices that serve their own unit.
- Separate gas meter required for ADU w/vented appliances.
- For detached ADUs, a sewer lateral permit is required for the connection to the existing building. No portion of the lateral may be located underneath the primary building.
- Detached ADU must have its own water shutoff valve where service enters building. Attached ADU without separate water shutoff has integral stops or fixture shutoffs.
Room Dimensions & Accommodations
- Ceiling height must not be less than 7’ for habitable space and 6’ 8” for non-habitable areas.
- ADU must have a combined living, eating, and sleeping room not less than 220 sq ft, and an additional 100 sq ft of superficial floor area per occupant in excess of two (2).
- ADU must have a separate clothes closet, approved cabinet adjacent to kitchen sink for storing food,
crockery, cutlery, and cooking utensils.
- ADU must have a private bathroom with toilet, lavatory, and bathtub or shower receptor.
- Fire flow and water pressure on adjoining streets must meet minimum Fire Marshal requirements.
- ADD-compliant path of egress to City-right-of-way is required.
- All walls less than 5’ to property line must be 1-hr. fire-rated. No wall openings are allowed less than 3’ to property line. If entire building does not have sprinklers, all separation walls & floor/ceiling assemblies, as well as supporting construction, must be 1-hr. fire-rated for attached units; otherwise separations must be 1/2-hr. fire-rated.
- ADU fire sprinklers are required if required for main unit.
- Located entirely within the building envelope of a Single-Family Home with independent exterior Access OR
- Located Entirely within a detached accessory structure legally existing prior to Jan. 1, 2017 and involves no expansion of the existing structure, side and rear setbacks are sufficient for fire safety.
- Involves construction of a new structure, or an exterior addition to an existing structure.