Step by step

Add units to your property

Add accessory dwelling units (ADUs), granny flats, inlaw units, or cottages to a residential building.

1

See if you can add new units to your residential property

Cost:

Free

Time:

30 minutes

Check to see if you can add an ADU. Check the rules to find out what you can build.

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2

Contact the City about your ADU

Optional step

Cost:

Free

Time:

30 minutes to 3 hours

If you have questions, you should discuss your project first with a City planner. You will avoid complications later if you talk to us in the early stages of your project.

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3

Design your ADU

Cost:

Depends on project size

Time:

Determined by architect

The next step is to draft architectural plans. You will submit your plans with your permit application. Homeowners often hire an architect or designer to create the plans.

Plans must meet:

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4

Go to a pre-application meeting

Optional step

Cost:

$803.00
-
$2,162.00

Time:

2 hour

The meeting gives you a chance to ask questions before you submit your permit application. After the meeting, you will get notes and a written agreement on code interpretation. You should attach these agreements to your submission.

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5

Apply for your ADU permit

Cost:

Permit fees are 6 to 9% of building costs. Pay the first half when you apply.

Time:

2 to 5 hours to submit your application.

Typically, plans are drafted by a state-licensed architect. If you are planning any changes to the building facades, your plans must meet the City’s:

  • design guidelines
  • code sections
  • preservation standards
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6

Track your permit application

Cost:

Free

Time:

1 to 4 months

Search for your permit in the Department of Building Inspection’s permit tracker. You will need the address of the project or the permit number.

Track your permit application

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7

Pick up your approved permit

Cost:

You must pay the rest of your fee (6 to 9% of the project’s construction cost).

Time:

1 hour

After your accessory dwelling unit (ADU) plans are approved you must pick them up and pay the remainder of your fee.

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Last updated February 24, 2020