We service Palo Alto, CA and surrounding areas including zip codes 94020, 94022, 94024, 94028, 94040, 94301, 94302, 94303, 94304, 94305, 94306, and 95033.


Palo Alto ADU Opportunities

Navigating the world of accessory dwelling units in Palo Alto has never been easier. Palo Alto ADU rules offer homeowners a unique opportunity to enhance their properties and address the evolving housing landscape. Whether you’re interested in converting an existing space into an ADU or constructing a brand-new unit, Palo Alto’s ADU regulations provide clear guidelines and a streamlined process to make your vision a reality. Our team at Acton ADU specializes in helping Palo Alto residents understand and maximize the benefits of these regulations, ensuring that you can create an ADU that fits seamlessly into the Palo Alto community while also meeting your specific needs.

Understanding Palo Alto ADU Regulations

Palo Alto’s ADU rules are designed to promote responsible growth and offer homeowners a path to increase housing options within the city. By familiarizing yourself with these regulations, you can gain valuable insights into the opportunities and requirements for ADU construction in Palo Alto. Our team at Acton ADU is well-versed in Palo Alto ADU regulations and can guide you through the process, from initial planning to obtaining permits and completing your project. We believe in the power of ADUs to transform properties and enhance communities, and we’re here to help you make the most of these opportunities in Palo Alto.

Your Trusted Partner for ADU Projects in Palo Alto

As your trusted partner for ADU projects in Palo Alto, Acton ADU is committed to helping you navigate the city’s regulations and create a valuable addition to your property. Our expertise in Palo Alto ADU rules allows us to offer tailored solutions that align with your goals and ensure compliance with local requirements. Whether you’re looking to build an ADU for family members, generate rental income, or simply add functional space to your property, Acton ADU has the knowledge and experience to make your vision a reality. Explore the possibilities of ADU construction in Palo Alto with Acton ADU by your side.

About Palo Alto, CA

Palo Alto is sometimes regarded as the origin of “Silicon Valley” due to its reputation as a center for innovative technological research and development. With its fascinating blend of history and modernity, Palo Alto is a unique destination for many visitors.  Many of the best corporations and universities in the world have their headquarters in Palo Alto, making it a veritable mecca for those interested in technology and creativity.

Most people who live in Palo Alto also own their homes, enjoying a convenient blend of urban and suburban living. There are many interesting spots to eat, drink, and relax in Palo Alto, and it is home to many top-rated public schools.

If you want to keep your Palo Alto primary residence but also need more room, an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) could be the best and most practical solution. ADUs are popular because they allow their occupants to be close to their families while also enjoying a great deal of independence from the main house. If you own land in the Palo Alto, CA region and are in need of more living space for your growing family, you should think about getting a new backyard home from Acton ADU.


The Construction of an ADU

Getting a high quality ADU built is no simple task. The process of planning and building an ADU in Palo Alto, CA, has its challenges, but also has tremendous rewards. We endeavor to make it as simple for you as possible. Here is a brief description of how it works:

  • The first step in establishing whether your project meets the requirements for an ADU is to validate it. To ensure your property conforms to all rules, we’ll inspect it. Answer the question of what can actually be built on your property legally.
  • We’ll work with you to personalize your ADU. There are numerous pre-designed layouts available that can be used right out of the box or tweaked to your needs. There are also many interior packages to choose from, with a variety of design options.
  • Once designed, we’ll acquire your ADU permit and then start building your ADU. Our experienced craftsmen will begin ADU construction to the exact specifications.

The Acton ADU procedure is intended to be straightforward. To ensure that your ADU in Palo Alto, CA, is exactly what you’ve envisioned, we’ll work directly with you at every stage. To start working on your project right now, get in touch with us!


Your ADU Contractors in Palo Alto, CA

Acton ADU, operates in Palo Alto, CA, as well as many other cities in the Bay Area. We have a group of knowledgeable experts who can work with you to design and construct the best ADU for your requirements. We also understand the applicable code requirements and can secure the required permissions for your project.

Adding an ADU can increase your home’s living space, potential income, and value. An ADU may be used for any purpose you can think of, such as a guest house or a home office. You might utilize additional space on your Palo Alto, CA, property that would otherwise go unused by adding an ADU. Call Acton ADU right away to get started!

Questions about ADUs in Palo Alto, CA? Inquire Below
  • Attached
  • Detached
  • Garage Conversion
  • Junior ADU

Get All the ADU Zoning & Regulation Details

CITY OR COUNTYPalo Alto, California
DATE UPDATED11/15/2022
ZONINGThe establishment of an accessory dwelling unit is permitted in zoning districts when single-family or multi-family residential is a permitted land use.
TYPES OF ADUSAttached, Detached, Garage Conversion, Junior ADUs
STORIESAttached: 2-story in RE and OS district, single-story in other districts
Detached: single-story
Conversion/JADU: N/A
LOT SIZENot included in emergency ordinance.
MAXIMUM ADU FLOOR AREAAttached: 900 sf (one bathroom/studio), or 1,000 sf. (more than one bedroom), and shall not exceed 50% of the proposed or existing living area of the primary dwelling unit. The minimum unit size shall be 150 square feet.
Detached ADU: 900 sf (one bathroom/studio), or 1,000 sq.ft. (more than one bedroom),.
Junior ADU: 500 sf.
LOT COVERAGEADUs are included in the lot coverage and FAR requirements applicable to each parcel. Up to 800 sq.ft. of ADU space is exempt.
KITCHENADUs require separate kitchen facilities.
Junior ADUs: 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 junior accessory dwelling unit.
BATHADUs require separate bathroom facilities.
Junior ADUs may include separate bathroom or share bathroom with existing structure.
Note: Drainage and sewer connections should be assessed on a project by project basis.
BEDROOMNo min/max.
STORAGENo min/max
PARKINGa. Replacement parking is not required when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is converted to, or demolished in conjunction with the construction of, an ADU

b. Replacement parking is required when an existing attached garage is converted to a JADU. These replacement spaces may be provided as uncovered spaces in any configuration on the lot including within the front or street side yard setback for the property
1. The Director shall have the authority to modify required replacement parking spaces by up to one foot in width and length upon finding that the reduction is necessary to accommodate parking in a location otherwise allowed under this code and is not detrimental to public health, safety or the general welfare
2. Existing front and street side yard driveways may be enlarged to the minimum extent necessary to comply with the replacement parking requirement above. Existing curb cuts shall not be altered except when necessary to promote public health, safety or the general welfare

c. When parking is provided, the unit shall have street access from a driveway in common with the main residence in order to prevent new curb cuts, excessive paving, and elimination of street trees, unless separate driveway access will result in fewer environmental impacts such as paving, grading or tree removal

d. If covered parking for a unit is provided in any district, the maximum size of the covered parking area for the accessory dwelling unit is 220 square feet. This space shall count towards the total floor area for the site but does not contribute to the maximum size of the unit unless attached to the unit
SETBACKSa. Detached units shall maintain a minimum three-foot distance from the primary unit, measured from the exterior walls of structures
b. No basement or other subterranean portion of an ADU/JADU shall encroach into a setback required for the primary dwelling
c. Projections, including but not limited to windows, doors, mechanical equipment, venting or exhaust systems, are not permitted to encroach into the required setbacks, with the exception of a roof eave of up to two feet
Note: Except as otherwise provided in this section, ADUs shall comply with the underlying zoning district’s setbacks, including daylight plane requirements, except to the extent daylight plane requirements would preclude an accessory dwelling unit from reaching a height of 16’
LOCATIONProjections, including but not limited to windows, doors, mechanical equipment, venting or exhaust systems, are not permitted to encroach into the required setbacks, with the exception of a roof eave of up to two feet
ENTRYWAYSa. Attached units shall have independent exterior access from a proposed or existing single-family dwelling. Except for JADUs, attached units shall not have an interior access point to the primary dwelling (e.g. hotel door or other similar feature/appurtenance)
b. Except on corner lots, the unit shall not have an entranceway facing the same lot line (property line) as the entranceway to the main dwelling unit unless the entranceway to the accessory unit is located in the rear half of the lot. Exterior staircases to second floor units shall be located toward the interior side or rear yard of the property
HEIGHTRE: 30 ft 
OS: 25 ft 
All other eligible zones: 16 ft
DESIGNNo design review necessary.
Note: Historic Neighborhoods or Districts should be assessed on a project by project basis.
RESOURCES>> Palo Alto, CA City Website
>> Palo Alto, CA City Housing Element Updates
>> Palo Alto, CA Post Offices
SOURCE CODEhttps://codelibrary.amlegal.com/codes/paloalto/latest/paloalto_ca/0-0-0-76738 
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!


Considering an ADU in Palo Alto, CA? It’s a great way to enhance living space and boost property value. With Acton ADU, you’re partnering with experts who bring your vision to life. From design to construction, we’re with you every step of the way. Reach out today to explore the possibilities.