ADU Downloads & FAQ’s

17. How can I convert an existing structure to an ADU, if it was built without a building permit?

The owner must obtain an after-the-fact In addition to fulfilling the base requirements of the after-the-fact permit, any adjustments required to the structure must conform to the ADU regulations.

18.  Can pre-manufactured, container, modular, or mobile homes be used as an ADU?

Yes, these are just construction methods. They can be used as ADUs, provided they comply with the provisions related to ADUs and all applicable building codes.

19.  If a private covenant stipulates that I cannot have an accessory dwelling unit, can I still build an ADU?

No, while the accessory dwelling unit Ordinance allows ADUs if a private covenant prohibits the construction of an ADU, the latter takes precedence. In such situations, these prohibitions must be addressed with the appropriate parties, not the City. The appropriate association must take action to lift the restriction.

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20.  Will an accessory dwelling unit change the character of my neighborhood?

ADU provisions are intended to maintain the character of neighborhoods. The overall size of the ADU is limited, coupled with the one ADU per lot requirement; both will help minimize the visual impact to the neighborhood. In addition, all development standards and siting requirements of the underlying zoning district must be met. Similarly, the small size of the ADU will limit the number of people occupying the ADU. In addition, the occupancy requirement of the owner(s) will ensure that tenants are well behaved.

21.  How is the City making it easier to build an accessory dwelling unit?

The DPP has developed an ADU brochure to help guide homeowners and contractors through the permitting process.  We are also working with the building industry and design professionals to encourage them to develop a range of building types, both stand-alone cottages and additions, which can be pre-approved under a master permit. Once a builder obtains a master permit for a particular model, that building just needs a site permit showing where and how it will be constructed on the lot (but will require appropriate inspections during construction). We are also encouraging financial institutions and builders to develop simplified financing packages, similar to a home equity loan.