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Saratoga, California: ADU Regulations

City or County:

Saratoga, California

Date Updated:



Attached/Detached: A/HR/R-1

Types of ADUs:

Attached, detached and Junior ADU


Must adhere to underlying zoning district regulations.

Lot Size:

The net site area of lot upon which ADU located shall not be less than 90% of min. standard prescribed for district applicable to such lot. Min. standards for lots located in HR residential district determined per Section 15-13.060(a) of City Code.

Maximum ADU Floor Area:

Attached: min. 400 sq.ft. not to exceed 50% of existing living area up to max. size of 1,200 sq.ft.

Detached: min. 400 sq.ft., max. 1,200 sq.ft.

Junior ADU: 500 sq. ft. max.

Note: Both ADU and main dwelling shall count toward total floor area limit set by applicable zoning regulations.

Lot Coverage:

Must adhere to underlying zoning district regulations.


2 bedrooms maximum


No min/max


ADU: must have separate kitchen facilities (permanent range, counters, refrigerator, sink).

Junior ADU: must have at least an “efficiency” kitchen.


ADU: must have separate bathroom.

Junior ADU: may include separate bathroom or may share a bathroom with existing structure.

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


Min. one off-street covered parking space within garage to be provided in addition to spaces required for main dwelling. Garage requirement may be waived if ADU is deed restricted so that it may only be rented to below market rate households. If garage requirement waived, open off-street parking space must be provided.

Parking Exceptions:

No parking space required if unit:

  1. Is located within one-half mile of major transit stop.
  2. Is located within a designated historic district.
  3. Is part of existing main dwelling or existing residential accessory structure intended for human habitation.
  4. When on-street parking permits required but not offered to the occupant of ADU.
  5. Has a car share vehicle located within one block.
  6. Is permitted as Junior ADU.

Vehicular access to ADU must be served through same driveway as primary dwelling.


Attached/Detached: must comply with applicable zoning regulations and have side and rear setbacks sufficient for fire safety as determined by fire agency having jurisdiction.

Note: setback of 5' from side and rear lot lines shall be allowed for unit constructed above garage that is non-conforming as to setbacks. However, no setback requirements for existing garage that is converted.

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


Attached/Detached: accessory dwelling unit shall comply with applicable zoning regulations.


Must be either (i) attached to existing main dwelling (including being located within living area of the existing main dwelling) or (ii) detached from existing main dwelling but located on same lot.

Rear Yard Coverage:

Must follow requirements established by zoning district in which lot is located.


All new construction to create ADU must match existing main structure in color, materials and residential design. All must comply with all building codes and health & safety regulations.

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


Attached: both ADU and main dwelling must be served by either common entrance or, separate entrance to ADU must be located on side or at rear of main dwelling.

Conversion: must have independent exterior access from existing main dwelling.

Junior ADU: must have independent exterior access, and must also have interior access to existing dwelling living space. A second interior doorway may be implemented for sound attenuation and privacy.

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!