ADU Jurisdiction Guide: City of Santa Cruz
Fees and Regulations (September 2022)

ADU-allowed Zones

Having ADU on your property is allowed as long as your lot is zoned for residential use (exceptions may vary) and as long as you have an existing single-family home or a multi-family building. 

Single-unit dwelling:
– One (1) ADU – within the existing space of the property 
– One (1) JADU per lot

Multiple-unit dwelling:
– Two (2) detached ADUs and at least One (1) ADU within the existing multiple-family dwelling, with the total square footage of ADUs not exceeding 25% of the existing units

ADU Rental

An ADU or JADU may be rented, provided it is for more than 30 days.

ADU Size Limitations

– ADU shall not exceed 1,200 sqft. (Floor Area: 800 sqft)
JADU shall not exceed 500 sqft.

ADU Maximum Height

– Attached ADUs: subject to the height of the zoning district for the principal residence.
– Detached ADUs: subject to height regulations of the zoning district or until 16ft whichever is greater.

Minimum Lot Size

No minimum. ADUs greater than 800 square feet are required to provide the minimum open space requirements of the underlying zoning district of the project site.

Maximum Lot Size

The ADU shall not exceed the maximum lot coverage of the underlying zoning district of the project site; however, lot coverage shall not be imposed for attached or detached ADUs less than 800 square feet.

ADU Setbacks

– Minimum front setbacks: standard for the zoning district
– Minimum side setbacks: 4 feet
– Minimum rear setbacks: 4 feet

Parking Space Requirements

Not Required for ADUs/JADU.

Owner Occupancy Requirements

For properties owned between 2020 and 2025, owner occupancy requirements will not apply to new Accessory Dwelling Units. (applicable to new construction and conversion units).


We hope this quick reference guide helps you out in your ADU project. Part of our service if you build with us is the full service of our in-house permit technician who handle the processing of your permit on your behalf with no mark-ups. 

If you’re interested in building with ADU.Works, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation with us or give us a quick call through our number +1 (650) 227 4810. We’ll gladly discuss the specifications of your permit processing and accommodate any questions you may have. Our team looks forward to hearing from you.

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