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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also called a granny flat or in-law quarters, is an independent housing unit that may be added to residential properties. The ADU may be attached or detached from the primary residence or can be created by converting the existing floor area of a primary residence, or by converting a garage or other accessory building.

What is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit?

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) is a specific type of housing unit that is within an existing or proposed single-family dwelling, on a property that is owner-occupied. JADUs are limited to 500 square feet in size, require a separate exterior entry and efficiency kitchen, and may share a bathroom with the primary residence or include their own bathroom.

Can I Build an ADU on my Property?

Most of the time, the answer is yes. An ADU is allowed on any legal lot that is developed with an existing or proposed primary residence, as long as the zoning district allows residential uses. This includes a mixed-use property (both residential and commercial uses on the same lot), and when the density is non-conforming (more residential units on the lot than are allowed by current zoning).

An ADU is not allowed on a property that is developed with only commercial or other nonresidential uses, or on a vacant lot without a primary residential unit. Zoning districts that do not allow residential uses are: Manufacturing Industrial Zone (M-I or M-1); Park and Recreation Zone (P-R); Harbor Commercial Zone (H-C), portions of Ocean-Oriented Commercial Zone (O-C), Hotel and Related Commerce Zone (HRC-1 and HRC-2), and Ocean-Oriented Light Manufacturing Zone (OM-1).

Source: City of Santa Barbara

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