Statewide Update: New California ADU Bills AB68, SB13, AB881, AB670 have passed. These laws create more options for building an ADU in 2020. Use ADU Services to learn how they affect your property!

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San Ramon ADUs

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San Ramon ADU Guidelines Last Updated 03/27/20

PLANNING OFFICE The city planning office is not open to the public at this time, but is accepting ADU permit questions and applications.

The city government of San Ramon will approve ADUs under California's statewide mandated regulations.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.
Relevant state bill updates for SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 are shown in green below.


City Hint: The city has not yet responded to requests for ADU permit volumes for the past year, but they will be provided here once response has been received.


Number of ADUs allowed:

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

As of January 1st, 2020

Types of ADUs allowed:

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

Lot size:

Residential lots will not be subject to any minimum lot size for Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)s by ordinance or of the underlying zoning district. ~ According To AB68

As of January 1st, 2020

ADU size:

Single-family and multi-family Lots will be approved to construct up to 850 sqft for a one bedroom ADU or up to 1,000 sqft for a two bedroom ADU, regardless of the underlying zoning standards of the property. A Junior ADU up to 500 sqft is approved. The minimum size of any living unit (including Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior ADUs) is 150 sqft according to Califronia Residential Code. ~ AB68

As of January 1st, 2020


Setbacks for a detached new construction ADU shall be no more than 4 ft from the rear and side lot lines. No setbacks shall be required for ADUs and Junior Accessort Dwelling Unit (JADU)s converted from legally eastablished existing space. Attached new construction ADUs and conversions from existing space to be expanded must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zone. ~ AB68 & AB881 Update

As of January 1st, 2020


Lots which convert an existing garage to an Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit will not be subject to replacement parking requirements. ~ AB-68

As of January 1st, 2020

Fire Safety:

Per state minimum requirements.

Shape, materials and style:

a. The exterior design shall be in harmony with the immediate
Neighborhood. Building materials, colors and exterior finishes
Should be substantially the same as those on the existing dwelling.
b. Outside access to the ADU shall not be in the front of
The existing dwelling. Side or rear access shall not be visible
From the front or street.


Height of the ADU will be determined by the maximum height of the underlying zone.

Design review:

Ministerial review per state standards.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Owner-occupancy will not be required for new ADUs (conversion and new construction) built between 2020 and 2025. ~ Updated: State Law SB-13

As of January 1st, 2020

Utility connections:

Local health officer approval where a private sewage disposal system is being used, if required. (State requirements)

Permit Fees

SB13 Update: As of January 1st, 2020, local impact fees for ADUs will be reduced substantially statewide.


1. Attached dwelling unit. A dwelling unit that has one or more party
walls in common with another dwelling unit.
2. Detached dwelling unit. A dwelling unit that does not share any walls
in common with another dwelling unit.
3. Secondary unit. An attached or detached rental dwelling unit located
on a lot which contains a single-family dwelling. A secondary unit
shall include provisions for living, eating, sleeping, cooking and
sanitation. A secondary unit is not considered an accessory building as
defined in Division D2 and Division D8 (Glossary).

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. ***

Secondary units are permitted in the RC, HR, RE, RS, RM, RMH, and in PD zones for residential uses on lots with a single-family dwelling.

As of January 1st, 2020

Existing Structures

Non-conforming units. Where the existing dwelling unit constitutes a legal
non-conforming unit, a secondary unit may be constructed only if the nonconformity
is not expanded and the secondary unit meets all current applicable
zoning standards.

SB13 Update: Amnesty program to permit unpermitted units will be administered statewide, allowing non-health and safety code violations to be deferred.

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.

San Ramon City Planning Offices

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Based on project size & appreciation.

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Costs / ROI


* upon completion of ADU


* based on local average price per sqft


* estimated by location


* 30 years / 5% interest rate / 20% down payment


Appreciation Estimate = (Base Value: $) / (Home's Living Space: sqft) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)

Rental Estimate = (Rent Per Sqft: $4.49) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)

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