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(408) 752-5614 ext: 374
Schedule ADU Consultation (408) 752-5614 ext: 374

Sunnyvale ADUs

Everything about building Accessory Dwelling Units in Sunnyvale, CA

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PLANNING OFFICE The city planning office remains open at this time and is accepting inquires and permit applications.

The city government of Sunnyvale has updated its local zoning codes to comply with the State ADU mandate.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.
Relevant state bill updates for SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 are shown in green below.

Last Updated 04/05/20



hintsights

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 lots which are owner-occupied may create one ADU and one Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. Also, multi-family lots 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 permitted. ADUs may be new construction or converted from existing space. JADUs must be converted from existing space.

Lot size:

Residential properties will not be subject to any minimum lot size for Accessory Dwelling Units by ordinance or of the underlying zoning district. ~ According To AB68

As of January 1st, 2020

ADU size:

Residential lots will be approved to build up to 850 square ft. for a one bedroom ADU or up to 1,000 square ft. for a two bedroom ADU, regardless of the underlying zoning standards of the property. A Junior ADU is approved up to 500 square ft.. According to Califronia Residential Code, the minimum size of any living unit is 150 square ft. (including Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)s and Junior ADUs). ~ AB68

As of January 1st, 2020

Setbacks:

Setbacks for a detached new construction Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be no more than 4 ft from the rear and side lot lines. No setbacks shall be required for Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior ADUs converted from legally eastablished existing space. Attached new construction Accessory Dwelling Units and conversions from existing space to be expanded must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zone. ~ Updated: State Law AB-68

As of January 1st, 2020

Parking:

Replacement parking shall not apply to properties which convert an existing garage to an Accessory Dwelling Unit or Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit. ~ AB68

As of January 1st, 2020

Fire Safety:

Accessory dwelling units shall not be required to provide fire sprinklers unless required for the primary dwelling.

Shape, materials and style:

Exterior materials, colors and appearance of accessory dwelling units shall match the primary structures on the same lot.

Height:

All setback, lot coverage, building height, open space, design review and other applicable zoning requirements shall be satisfied, except as permitted by variance or as otherwise provided.

Design review:

Ministerial review process per state requirements. Design review shall not be required for minimal exterior changes that do not expand the existing structure.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.

Ownership:

Owner-occupancy will not be required for new ADUs (conversion and new construction) built between 2020 and 2025. ~ SB13 Update

As of January 1st, 2020

Utility connections:

Utilities. The applicant may be required to install a new or separate utility connection directly between the accessory dwelling unit and the utility and may be subject to a connection fee or a capacity charge established by the city council that shall be proportionate to the burden of the proposed accessory dwelling unit, based upon either its size or the number of its plumbing fixtures, upon the water or sewer system. This fee or charge shall not exceed the reasonable cost of providing this service.

Permit Fees

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

Exceptions:

Off-street parking spaces for the accessory dwelling unit are not required if any of the following circumstances apply.
(i) The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile of public transit.
(ii) The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
(iii) The accessory dwelling unit is part of the existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure.
(iv) When there is a designated, fixed pick-up or drop-off location for a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.

Entry:

Entrances and outside stairways serving accessory dwelling units shall not be constructed on any building elevation facing a public street.

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. ***

R-0, R-1, R-2, and Residential DSP blocks.

As of January 1st, 2020

Lot Coverage:

At least one thousand square feet of open space is required for each R-2 lot with an accessory unit.

Existing:

Conversions of Existing Interior Space. An application for a building permit to create one accessory dwelling unit per single-family lot in the R-0 or R-1 zoning districts shall be ministerially approved subject to the following requirements:
(1) The unit is contained within the existing space of a legally permitted accessory structure or single-family residence.
(2) The total size of the accessory dwelling unit is no less than one hundred fifty square feet.
(3) The unit has independent exterior access from the existing residence.
(4) The side and rear setbacks are sufficient for fire safety.
(5) The applicant shall not be required to provide an off-street parking space for the accessory dwelling unit. However, the applicant shall be required to replace any parking spaces lost as a result of the conversion of the existing space to an accessory dwelling unit.
(6) Design review shall not be required for minimal exterior changes that do not expand the existing structure.
(7) The applicant shall not be required to install a new or separate utility connection directly between the accessory dwelling unit and the utility, and shall not be charged a connection fee or capacity charge related to such requirement. The applicant may voluntarily install a new or separate utility connection, which shall be subject to the same fees.

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

Location:

No detached unit may be placed in front of the main dwelling.

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.

Sunnyvale City Planning Offices
Permitting

Sunnyvale Planning & Zoning

456 W. Olive Ave. Sunnyvale, CA 94086 Sunnyvale, CA 94086

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"If you are not sure where to start on an ADU project, a Hausable property report gives you all the basic information you need to know where to start. Property set backs, parking requirements, square footage and height restrictions. It really helped me narrow down what was possible and help me focus as I move forward."

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Costs / ROI

SELECT ADU SIZE & TYPE

APPRECIATION ESTIMATE

* upon completion of ADU

CONSTRUCTION COST ESTIMATE

* based on local average price per sqft

RENTAL ESTIMATE

* estimated by location

MORTGAGE ESTIMATE

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

SELECT ADU SIZE & TYPE

Size: 500 sqft

BASED ON LOCAL AVERAGE PROPERTY DATA & VALUE

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

Rental Estimate = (Rent Per Sqft: $4.51) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)




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Use our ADU Property & Design Reports as a starting point to plan your ADU project. Our experts will do the legwork with your city or county planning office and design custom ADU concepts for your property and your needs.

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