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City of Santa Clara, California: ADU Regulations

City or County:

City of Santa Clara, California

Date Updated:

12.9.2018

Zoning:

R1-8L/R1-6L

Types of ADUs:

Attached and Detached

Stories:

For lots less than 6,000 sq.ft.: Attached and Detached are limited to a single story.

For lots greater than 6,000 sq.ft.: Attached up to two stories, Detached single-story.

For attached second-story ADUs:

• Second-floor area of the building shall not exceed 66% of the first-floor building area (including the garage area).

• 5’ front step back from the front wall of the main dwelling unit. 10’ step back if the garage is closest to the front property line.

• 3’ side and rear setbacks from the walls of the first floor, or clerestory windows with 5’ sill height are required.

• Second-floor balconies must be located on rear elevations and setback 15’ from a side property line, with a maximum depth of 4’.

• The floor to ceiling height must be equal to or less than the average floor to ceiling height of the first floor (7’ minimum).

Lot Size:

No minimum provided the lot already has an existing single-family dwelling and the lot can sustain an ADU that meets yard coverage limits and necessary setbacks.

Maximum ADU Floor Area:

Lots less than 6,000 sq.ft.: Floor Area Ratio of .40 for all structures

Attached ADU: 50% of living area of main dwelling up to 1,200 sq.ft.

Detached ADU: 1,200 sq.ft.

Lots greater than 6,000 sq.ft.: Floor Area Ratio is not applicable

Attached ADU: 50% of living area of main dwelling up to 1,200 sq.ft.

Detached ADU: 1,200 sq.ft.

Lot Coverage:

Must maintain coverages of underlying zoning district.

Bedroom:

Lots less than 6,000 sq.ft.: one bedroom maximum

Lots greater than 6,000 sq.ft.: two bedrooms maximum

Storage:

No min/max

Kitchen:

Require separate kitchen facilities (permanent range, counters, refrigerator, sink).

Bath:

Require separate bathroom facilities, limited to 1 bathroom maximum.

Note: Drainage and sewer connections should be assessed on a project by project basis.

Parking:

Properties with an ADU are not required to provide additional onsite parking beyond lot requirements. If required covered parking is demolished during the development of the ADU, two replacement parking spaces must be provided. Additionally, if main dwelling unit is subject to a preferential parking permit program for on-street parking, ADU to also be eligible for preferential parking permit program.

Setbacks:

For lots less than 6,000 sq.ft.:

Attached ADU: Front 20’ | Interior Side 5’ | Side Corner 15’ | Rear 20’

Detached ADU: Front 5’ beyond front setback of main dwelling | Interior Side 3’ | Side Corner 15’ | Rear 5’

For lots greater than 6,000 sq.ft.:

Attached ADU: Front 20’ | Interior Side 5’ | Side Corner 15’ | Rear 20’

Detached ADU: Front 5’ beyond front setback of main dwelling | Interior Side 3’ | Side corner 15’ | Rear 5’

Note: Fire Department regulations should be assessed on a project by project basis.

Height:

For lots less than 6,000 sq.ft.:

Attached ADU: 25’ max

Detached ADU: 14’ max

For lots greater than 6,000 sq.ft.:

Attached ADU: 25’ max

Detached ADU: 14’ max

Location:

N/A

Rear Yard Coverage:

40% total

Design:

The roof, siding, and windows must be consistent with the roof slope, materials and design of the main dwelling. Additional design regulations apply to attached second-story ADUs.

Note: Historic Neighborhoods or Districts should be assessed on a project by project basis.

Entryways:

Enclosed or internal staircases to access attached second-floor ADUs are required.

Source Code:

Important Note: Rules and regulations are updated and changed frequently. It’s one of our jobs to be up to speed and navigate those regulations. Let us know if our website isn’t up to date or if you have any information that could help. Cheers!