Secondary Units

Building a Secondary Unit Is Getting A Lot Easier

The City’s requirements for building an Accessory Dwelling Unit are changing for the better, mainly due to new state regs that streamline municipal costs and processes. Some recent changes are listed below. The City website has more info but you’ll get straighter answers from an ADU builder who works in Oakland.

December 15, 2020: The City’s new regulation requires newly constructed buildings to be all-electric, except for attached ADUs. This implies that new standalone ADUs must be all-electric.

January 2020:

  • Owner residency: Between 2020 and 2025, a property owner will not be required to live in the primary or secondary unit and can rent out both units. This may only apply to new construction and conversion units.
  • Permit fees: They were supposed to have been reduced substantially but info is hard to find on the city website.

Share your experiences:

  •  ADU height: Neighbors report that the maximum height for their ADU is 16 ft, which allows for a useable loft space. However, if you live within the Lowell HBX-1 zone, your ADU might go as high as 18 ft. This height might also apply to ADUs within the San Pablo Avenue commercial corridor.
  • Modular/prefab ADUS: There are now lots of these builders competing for your business. Price tags vary based on ADU design and size but are worth checking out. Does anyone have experience with one of these companies?  If so, give us your feedback.
  • Contractor referrals: Most people have no idea how to find a reputable contractor for an ADU project. If you are happy with yours and want to recommend them, please do.
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Get Details

Secondary Units Zoning Regulations

Request a public ADU info session by contacting Laura Ingram

Support ADU Incentives

Urge the City’s Strategic Planning Manager Ed Manasse and Acting Planning Director Darin Ranelletti to prioritize funding for an ADU incentive plan.