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Newport Beach ADUs

Everything about building Accessory Dwelling Units in Newport Beach, CA

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400 sqft

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Newport Beach ADU Guidelines Last Updated 08/14/21

The city government of Newport Beach has updated its local zoning codes to comply with the State ADU mandate.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.


City Hint: The City of Newport Beach permitted a total of 10 ADU projects in the past year of 2020.

Number of ADUs allowed:

According to state law, all single-family homes are allowed at least one Accessory Dwelling Unit. Additionally, single-family properties which are owner-occupied may create one Accessory Dwelling Unit and one Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU). Also, multi-family properties may now add one ADU per every four existing residential units, so long as they were legally established.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Detached ADU, Attached ADU, Junior ADU are permitted. ADUs may be new construction or converted from existing space. JADUs must be converted from existing space.

Lot size:

Single family and multi-family residential lots will not be subject to the minimum lot size of the underlying zoning district or by ordinance for ADU projects. ~ AB68 & AB881 Update

ADU size:

JADU: 500 sq. ft.
Conversion of Existing Space: No limit
Attached ADU: Studio/One-Bedroom = 850 Two Bedroom = 1,000 Can be no more than 50% of existing primary dwelling
Detached ADU/Detached Above Garage/ Multifamily Residences: Studio and One-Bedroom = 850 Two Bedroom = 1,000
Application of floor area limit or site coverage shall not reduce ADU below 800 square feet


Front: Per base zone
Side: 4 feet or base zone, whichever is less
Rear: 4 feet (not abutting alley) or base zone, whichever is less


One parking space is required for new construction ADUs per unit.
If ADU is above an existing garage: One plus the primary dwelling must comply with parking.
Parking waived for the ADU if the property is:
1) within ½ mile walking distance to transit (including ferry);
2) within an architecturally or historically significant district;
3) on-street parking permits are required and not provided to the occupant of the ADU; or
4) within one block of a car-share vehicle pick-up/drop-off location
Replacement parking required in the Coastal Zone

Fire Safety:

Fire sprinklers. Accessory dwelling units shall not be required to provide fire sprinklers if they are not required for the principal residence.

Shape, materials and style:

Shall have a similar style to the principal dwelling, including architectural style, roof pitch, color, and materials


New Detached Units: 16 feet
Conversion of existing space: Per base zone

Design review:

Review Authority. accessory dwelling units shall be approved in all single-unit residential zoning districts subject to the approval of the Director upon finding that the following conditions have been met: Development standards. Except as modified by this subsection, an accessory dwelling unit shall conform to all requirements of the underlying residential zoning district, any applicable overlay district, and all other applicable provisions of this Code, including but not limited to height, setback, site coverage, floor area limit, and residential development standards and design criteria; unless the unit is contained within a legal, nonconforming structure and does not expand the nonconformity.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Owner-occupancy is not required for units built between January 1, 2020 and January 1, 2025
JADU owners shall live in either unit.

Utility connections:

For JADUs and conversion of existing space: No new or separate utility connection may be required between the accessory dwelling unit and the utility service, such as water, sewer, and power.
Otherwise, the City may require a separate utility connection

Historic Requirements:

If the accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant district, additional review may be required.

Coastal Areas:

Section 14:This action is exempt from environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) pursuant to Public Resources Code Section 21080.17 and CEQA Guidelines Section 15282(h), which states the adoption of an ordinance regarding second units to implement the provisions of Sections 65852.1 and 65852.2 of the Government Code are exempt from the requirements of CEQA. Similarly, the ministerial approval of accessory dwelling units is not a \"project\" for CEQA purposes, and environmental review is not required prior to approving individual applications.Section 15: An amendment to the Local Coastal Program (LCP) is also underway to comply with State law. This Zoning Code Amendment shall not become effective for projects located in the coastal zone for which the LCP is applicable until approval of the subject LCP amendment by the California Coastal Commission and adoption, including any modifications suggested by the California Coastal Commission, by resolution and/or ordinance of the City Council of the City of Newport Beach.

Allowed Zones:

*** Beginning in 2020, according to state law, all residential zoning districts, including single-family and multi-family, are allowed to build Accessory Dwelling Units. ***

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.

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