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Saratoga, California: ADU Regulations

City or County:

Saratoga, California

Date Updated:



Single-family and multi-family districts

Types of ADUs:

Attached, detached and Junior ADU

Owner Occupancy:

Short-term rentals not allowed. Owner Occupancy requirements waived until 2025.


Must adhere to underlying zoning district regulations.

Lot Size:


Maximum ADU Floor Area:

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

Detached - partially or entirely in side or rear setback: 850 sq.ft. max for 1 bedroom/studio, 1,000 sq.ft. for two bedrooms

Detached - not within side or rear setback area: 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, but requirements will not be applied to prohibit construction of an ADU that does not exceed 800 sq.ft.. For lots at least 10,000 net sq.ft. in size, a one-time 10 percent increase in site coverage and allowable floor area may be granted if the new ADU is deed restricted so that it may only be rented to below market rate households.)

Lot Coverage:

Single-family: One ADU and one Junior ADU allowed
Multi-family: Two Detached, and one attached/conversion/junior not part of living area per every four dwelling units within a multi-family dwelling


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 with a cooking facility with appliances, and a food preparation counter and storage cabinets that are of reasonable size in relation to the size of the JADU.


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:

Min. one off-street covered parking space to be provided in addition to spaces required for primary residence. State parking exceptions apply (public transit, historic district, no permits for ADU occupants, car share, attached/conversion/junior), as well as when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished to build ADU.

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


Attached: must comply with applicable zoning regulations for primary residence.
Detached: 4’ side and 4’ rear. However, setbacks of less than 4’ are allowed if ADU is constructed in same location and to the same dimensions as an existing structure that is demolished for the purpose of constructing the ADU .

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.


Detached - partially or entirely in side or rear setback: 16’
Detached - outside setback: 26’

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 may be served by common entrance; however a separate exterior entrance to ADU must be located on side or at rear of main dwelling. No interior access is allowed between an accessory building and accessory ADU if both structures are connected by a common wall, except that an attached garage may have interior access to an ADU.

Junior ADU: must have independent access from the main entrance to the proposed or existing dwelling living space.


Not required unless fire sprinklers are required for primary residence.

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!