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Accessory Dwelling Units


Housing affordability and supply is an urgent issue in California where a majority of renters pay more than 30 percent of their income towards rent and homeownership is at its lowest point since the 1940s. In an effort to accelerate housing construction throughout California, the State legislature passed a series of laws to encourage Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in single and multi-unit neighborhoods. The City has responded to the state’s direction by updating the zoning ordinance to incorporate development standards for ADUs consistent with state law and preparing applicant handouts.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have gone by many names, including granny flats, in-law units, and secondary units. By definition, an ADU is a self-contained, additional housing unit that contains a kitchen, bathroom, and a place to sleep. ADUs range in size from 150 square feet for a studio to 1,200 square feet for a unit with multiple bedrooms.

What is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit?

Like an ADU, a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) is an additional housing unit on a residential property but JADUs are limited to up to 500 square feet in size and must be contained within the walls of an existing or proposed home. JADUs also require a separate exterior entry and efficiency kitchen, and may share a bathroom with the main house or include their own bathroom.

Typical ADU Configurations

There are many different types of ADUs but they generally fall into one of the following configurations:

ADUs/JADUs in Santa Barbara

ADU/JADU Permitting FAQ

ADUs/JADUs are subject to a unique permitting process. A new webpage is under development and will be released soon.

State Law and ADU Ordinance Update

The City is updating its ADU Ordinance to comply with recent changes in State law. For more information, click here.

Latest News

City Council adopted the ADU Ordinance amendments on November 10, 2020. The Title 30 (Inland) ordinance will be in effect for projects submitted on or after December 10, 2020. To view the adopted ordinance amendments, click here.

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Last Updated: Jul 21, 2020
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