Your property has split zoning. Please contact the Planning Department
to find out the development standards that apply to your property.
An ADU is not allowed in certain parts of your property.
As per Section 20.30.150
of San Jose's Planning and Zoning Code, ADUs are only allowed in lots that are bigger than 3,000 sq. ft.
ADUs are only allowed in zoning districts in which residential uses are allowed. Because residential uses are not allowed in your zoning district, an ADU is not allowed here.
Your property is in a Planned Development (PD) zoning district. Please contact the Planning Department
to find out the rules that determine the size and location of an ADU on this property.
Your property has split zoning and is in a Planned Development (PD) zoning district. Please contact the Planning Department
to find out the development standards that apply to your property.
Existing/Proposed Use of Property?
ADUs allowed only on residential property. An ADU is only allowed on sites where there is an existing or proposed single-family home.
Type of ADU:
One-story ADU: 18 ft.
Two-story ADU: 24 ft.
Maximum New Square Footage:
Maximum Rear Yard Coverage:
- Interior side:
- Street side:
- From primary residence:
An ADU is allowed if it is:
- Contained within the existing space of a single-family residence or accessory structure (e.g., garage, studio, pool house).
- Has its own entrance from the street.
- Is located far enough from the side and rear lot lines for fire safety.
Parking Required for the ADU:
Design standards will be applied.
The ADU must incorporate the architectural style and similar materials and color of the primary residence, such as roofing, siding, windows, and doors.
ADU's front door may not be able to face the same direction as the primary residence's.
In general, the front door of the ADU may not be located on the same facade as the front door of the primary dwelling if that facade faces a street.
The property owner isn't required to live in either the primary residence or the ADU.
The ADU may not be sold separately from the primary residence.
The ADU may be rented separately from the primary residence.
ADU must contain a bathroom, kitchen, and area for living and sleeping..
Within the ADU, there must be:
- One bathroom that includes sink, toilet, and shower and / or bath facilities;
- At least one kitchen with sink, food preparation counter, storage, cabinets, and permanent cooking facilities such as oven and range or cooktop;
- A combined sleeping and living area or one bedroom. A bedroom may not exceed 400 sq. ft. ADUs less than 800 sq. ft. may include only one bedroom and one living area; a larger ADU may have 2 bedrooms.
In addition, the total storage area (e.g., closet space) in the ADU cannot exceed 60 sq. ft.
ADU must comply with fire safety requirements.
- Fire Sprinklers. Automatic residential fire sprinklers are required in the ADU if the primary residence has an automatic residential fire sprinkler system.
- Fire Access Roads. All portions of the ADU must be located within 200 ft. of an access road.
- Fire Hydrants. All portions of the ADU must be located within 400 ft. of a fire hydrant. When submitting your building plans to the City, you will be required to provide a copy of a letter from your water company that indicates the water flow available. The minimum acceptable water flow is 1,000 gpm at 20 psi.
Use Symbium BUILD to investigate whether an ADU is allowed on your property, learn about the size and form your ADU can take, and sketch out the location and dimensions of your proposed ADU.
Of course, the Planning Division has the final say on what can be built on your property, so direct any questions to them. We recommend that you discuss your project with Planning during the initial stages of this process, prior to submitting a permit application.
More information is available at San Jose's ADU website
. The Planning Division also offers free, optional consultation sessions to homeowners considering an ADU. To take advantage of a consultation session, complete the ADU Review Worksheet
and a rough sketch of your lot, showing the location and approximate size of your primary dwelling and proposed ADU (which you can make using Symbium BUILD). No appointment is needed for the consultation session. Simply visit the Permit Center during open hours with the required materials.
Design your ADU
Develop and refine the design for your ADU. You can start with developing your site design in Symbium BUILD! To begin, simply select the Draw building
on the map. For instructions on how to sketch your ADU and position it on the map of your property, click on How to...?
on the map.
Frequently, homeowners hire an architect to develop a design and work with a contractor to construct the ADU.
Because your property is in a flood zone...
Apply for Permits
If your ADU meets all the standards and requirements...
ADUs that fulfill all the Zoning Code's requirements (e.g., conforms with maximum height, maximum square footage requirements, and other applicable standards) can be approved with a building permit.
A building permit application is available online
, and a detailed list of construction plans that must be submitted in support of the building permit application can be found here
. To get help with the permitting process, contact San Jose's ADU ally at firstname.lastname@example.org
Completed building permit applications must be submitted in person to the Permit Center. The applicable permit and impact fees will be calculated at this time (see fee information here
), and they must be paid upon the submission of the application.
Your application should be granted within 120 days of receiving the complete application. The application will not require a public hearing, will not be appealable, and should be approved if your application meets all the objective requirements.
Because your project is located in a zone...
Your project will need a Geologic Hazard Clearance. To learn more, visit this website and contact Public Works at (408) 535-7802 or email@example.com
If your project involves tree removal...
If your project will involve the removal of a heritage tree
or tree with a large trunk, a permit will be required. For more information, visit the Planning Division's Tree Removal Permit
, you will be required to receive a Historic Preservation (HP) permit. For additional information, contact the Planning Division and review San Jose's Historic Preservation webpage
Construct your ADU
Once all permit applications has been approved, you will be issued permits to start construction. During construction, your ADU will be inspected to ensure it is being constructed according to the permitted plans. When construction is complete, a building inspector will conduct a final inspection. Once the final inspection is successfully completed, you will receive a Certificate of Occupancy, which is the final step before someone can move in to your new ADU.