Are ADUs allowed in Hillsborough:
Number of ADUs allowed:
One ADU per lot and lot must contain a single-family residence.
Types of ADUs allowed:
Attached, detached and junior ADUs are all permitted.
Refer to state requirements.
A detached ADU is limited to 1,400 sq. ft. in floor area, whereas attached units cannot exceed 30% of the living area of the primary residence.
Setback requirements as specified in the Hillsborough Municipal Code for all residences can be found here.
ARUs with one or two bedrooms require only one parking space. However, units with three or more bedrooms must be provided with two parking spaces. This is in addition to those required for the primary dwelling. Parking spaces may be unenclosed but cannot be in tandem. Please note that exceptions to the parking requirements may be granted for ARUs with two or more bedrooms.
Refer to state requirements.
Note: Fire Department regulations should be assessed on a project by project basis.
Shape, materials, and style:
New construction or exterior modification to existing structures should be compatible with the architectural style and details of the primary residence.
Must be in compliance with the applicable zoning district.
The Planning staff can approve most new second units administratively. If staff approval is not possible, the application will need approval by the Town’s Architecture and Design Review Board. Upon Planning Division approval, construction drawings may be submitted for Building Permit application.
Note: Historic Neighborhoods or Districts should be assessed on a project by project basis.
Either the ARU or the primary residence may be rented, but not both at the same time unless both are rented to the same party. Additionally, the ARU may not be sold separately from the primary unit.
There are no fees for the Planning Division review and there are no Building Permit fees for second units; Building Division plan-checking and other related fees do apply. Click for more information.
The term “ARU” means a residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on the same lot as the main house (called the “primary dwelling”). The ARU must have permanent living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation provisions.
The second unit must be constructed within the allowable maximum permitted floor area (FAR) and lot coverage of the applicable zoning district.
Conversion of Existing Space:
Converting existing living space into an ARU requires approval from the Planning Office and Building Department and must meet ARU guidelines. Upon approval, all necessary permits and inspections must be acquired and performed. Once the structure is approved by the Building Division, the ARU will be approved.
Potential Rental Income:
According to Zillow.com, an ARU in Hillsborough, CA can generate $36,000+ in possible rental income.
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!