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Sacramento, California: ADU Regulations

Date Updated:


All current ADU rules are only provisionally in force until 12/31/2020 as part of ordinance OR2019-0049 until permanent code is discussed and accepted.


A / A-OS / RE / R-1 / R-1A / R-1B / R-2 / R-2A / R-2B / R-3 / R-3A / R-4 / R-4A / R-5/ RMX / RO / OB/ OB-2 / OB-3 / SC / C-1/ C-2 / C-3 / C-4 / M-1 / M-1(S)/ M-2 / M-2(S) / MRD /

All zones subject to special use regulations in section 17.228.105.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Attached, detached and junior

Lot size:

A lot must be at least 5,200 sq. ft. to allow for an ADU.

ADU size:

Detached: 1,200 sq.ft. In the case of two detached accessory dwelling units on one lot, the combined total square footage of both detached accessory dwelling units may not exceed 1,200 sq.ft.
Attached: 50% of the existing floor area of the primary residence or 850 sq.ft. (one bedroom) or 1,000 square feet (more than one bedroom).

Lot coverage:

ADUs 800 sq.ft. or less are exempt from maximum lot coverage and minimum open space requirements. Larger ADUs must comply with underlying lot requirements






Must include independent and permanent provisions for eating and cooking.


No parking required.


Conversion: no requirements
One Story: no side and rear (must be at least 60’ from front property line or comply with two story)
Two Story: 4’ side and 4’ rear, or property’s zone, whichever is less

ADU must maintain at least a 4' separation from the primary dwelling. Minimum 4’ distance between 2 detached ADUs.


18' and above. ADU must comply with height requirements applicable to the lot on which the ADU is located in Sacramento City Code Sections 17.200-17.224.

Rear Yard Coverage: 

The height, lot coverage, and minimum open-space requirements applicable to the lot on which the accessory dwelling unit is located apply to the accessory dwelling unit, except up to two accessory dwelling units totaling not more than 800 square feet are exempt from maximum lot coverage and minimum open space requirements.


1. The design of the ADU shall conform to the design guidelines applicable to the lot on which the ADU is located. If the design of the primary single-unit dwelling or surrounding neighborhood conflict with the applicable design guidelines, the design guidelines control.
2. New ADUs should use universal access design features, including “no step” entrances, where topography and site constraints allow.
3. No portion of an ADU balcony, deck, or open-stair landing that faces the rear lot line or the side lot line nearest to the ADU shall be higher than 3' from the ground

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


Must have independent exterior access from the existing primary dwelling. No passageway is required in conjunction with the construction of an accessory dwelling unit.

Source Link:

Potential Rental Income:

According to, an ADU in Sacramento can generate $18,600+ per year 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!