Schedule ADU Consultation
(805) 864-5399 ext: 298
Schedule ADU Consultation (805) 864-5399 ext: 298

Santa Barbara ADUs

Everything about building Accessory Dwelling Units in Santa Barbara, CA

Research local zoning codes for ADU design
Calculate returns and costs to get financing
Estimate your project costs and timeline

Check your property's zoning, browse designs & get contractor estimates for your ADU project:

I'm interested in

Santa Barbara ADU Guidelines Last Updated 01/26/21

The city government of Santa Barbara will approve ADUs under California's statewide mandated regulations.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.


City Hint: The city permitted a total of 62 ADU projects in the past year of 2019, which makes it above average for ADU production compared to other cities statewide.

Number of ADUs allowed:

Under state law, each single-family home may now build at least one ADU. Owner occupied single-family parcels may build one ADU and one Junior ADU. Multi-family parcels, per every four existing residential units, may build one ADU, so long as the existing units were legally established.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Detached ADU, Attached ADU, Junior ADU are allowed. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)s may be new construction or converted from existing space. Junior Accessory Dwelling Units must be converted from existing space.

Lot size:

Residential properties will not be subject to any minimum lot size for ADUs by ordinance or of the underlying zoning district. ~ AB-68

ADU size:

Residential properties will be permitted to create up to 850 sq. ft. for a one bedroom ADU or up to 1,000 sq. ft. for a two bedroom ADU, regardless of the underlying zoning standards of the property. A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit is permitted up to 500 sq. ft.. According to California Residential Code, the minimum size of any living unit is 150 sq. ft. (including Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units). ~ According To AB68


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 Accessory 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


Properties which convert an existing garage to an Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior ADU will not be subject to replacement parking requirements. ~ According To AB68

Fire Safety:

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

Shape, materials and style:

There are no design requirements imposed on ADUs other than those of the underlying zone.


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

Design review:

When a local agency that has not adopted an ordinance governing accessory dwelling units in accordance with subdivision (a) receives an application for a permit to create an accessory dwelling unit pursuant to this subdivision, the local agency shall approve or disapprove the application ministerially without discretionary review pursuant to subdivision (a) within 120 days after receiving the application. design review. design review is NOT required for an accessory dwelling unit. design review is required for unrelated work to the site or primary dwelling, if that work requires design review for some other reason (e.g., Hillside Design District, etc.) If any work to the primary
residence requires design review, submit the completed design review application to the
Planning Counter. Remove all references to the accessory dwelling unit from the design review submittal (to the maximum extent feasible).
5. OTHER APPLICATIONS REQUIRED. Existing zoning standards may require additional
applications. If a project requests relief from applicable zoning standards please consult the Planning Counter to discuss viable options.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Between between 2020 and 2025, owner occupancy requirements will not apply to new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)s. (applicable to new construction and conversion units) ~ SB13

Utility connections:

Approval by the local health officer where a private sewage disposal system is being used, if required.

(1) Fees charged for the construction of accessory dwelling units shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 66000) and Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 66012).

(2) accessory dwelling units shall not be considered by a local agency, special district, or water corporation to be a new residential use for the purposes of calculating connection fees or capacity charges for utilities, including water and sewer service.

(A) For an accessory dwelling unit described in subdivision (e), a local agency, special district, or water corporation shall not require the applicant to install a new or separate utility connection directly between the accessory dwelling unit and the utility or impose a related connection fee or capacity charge.

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. ***

The lot is zoned to allow single-family or multifamily use.

State Standards:

Building Code:

Local building code requirements that apply to detached dwellings, as appropriate.

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.

Santa Barbara City Planning Offices

Community Development Department (Planning Division)

630 Garden Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Call/Text ADU Operator (805) 864-5399
Dial Ext: 298
Detached ADU in Hayward, CA $9,025 saved

ADU Design Library

Browse hundreds of models to find the right fit for your property.

ADU Model 650 sqft

W 26 ft L 25 ft

ADU Model 676 sqft

W 26 ft L 26 ft

ADU Model 500 sqft

W 25 ft L 20 ft

Complete 5-Step Process

Browse hundreds of permit-ready ADU designs and order one to customize to your needs.
Connect with local contractors to get site visits and cost estimates for your project.
Mark up changes to your plans and provide critical info needed to permit your project.
Finalize your project blueprints to submit for building permits.
Select your contractor and build your project.
Detached ADU - Completed in 2020
1,003 sq. ft., 3 bed, 2 bath

Estimate Your ADU Potential
Costs / ROI



* upon completion of ADU


* based on local average price per sqft


* estimated by location


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


Size: 500 sqft


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

Rental Estimate = (Rent Per Sqft: $5.03) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)

Check your property's zoning, browse designs & get contractor estimates for your ADU project:

Everything you need to get accurate estimates from contractors for your ADU project. Get help with ADU feasibility, design, permitting and sourcing contractors for your project in one place.

I'm interested in

Housable © 2021

Housable is providing information about specific properties that is furnished to users as a good-faith estimate of the development potential of a property. You should not in any way base your development, investments, or other financial decisions on this information. We strongly advise you to consult with an industry professional, such as a lender, realtor, contractor, or architect, who is sufficiently licensed and insured in their field, and who can work with you individually to confirm all requirements before moving forward with any real estate development or investment.