San Francisco has updated its ADU ordinance to comply with new state laws. Below are the up-to-date requirements to build an ADU in the city.
All properties zoned for single family, two-family or multifamily may be eligible to build ADUs.
Number of units
The number of ADUs you’re able to build depends on how your lot is zoned:
- Lots zoned for single family use may add 1 ADU and 1 Jr. ADU (JADU).
- Lots zoned for two-family or multi-family may add up to 2 detached ADUs per lot or up to 25% of the existing units in the building if conversions of existing non-living space.
The maximum ADU you can build depends on the ADU type:
- The maximum size is 500 sq. ft. for a JADU
- 850 sq. ft. for a one bedroom detached ADU
- 1,000 sq. ft. for a 2 bedroom detached ADU
- Attached ADUs can be 1,000 sq. ft. or 50% of the existing area of the primary dwelling, whichever is greater.
- 1,000 square feet of floor area for parcels of less than 10,000 square feet
- 1,200 square feet for parcels of 10,000 square feet or greater
Detached ADUs can reach a maximum height of 16 feet.
Minimum setbacks of 4 feet from the side and rear lot lines.
One parking spot required unless any of the following true:
- The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit
- The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
- The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.
- When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
- When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.
Owner occupancy is not a requirement for permitting an ADU from January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2025. This is a great opportunity for rental property owners to increase their yields in a cost-effective way.
While long-term rentals are permitted for ADUs, short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb for less than 30 days) are not permitted in the city.
Do you have a utility easement over your property? Are you in a FEMA flood zone? Reach out to us and we’ll help you build a custom ADU to fit your unique property characteristics and local regulations!