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Building an ADU in Salinas (Accessory Dwelling Unit)

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  • Grey cottage style ADU white white columns
  • Modern styled wooden ADU grey and dark grey

Pre-Approved ADU Plans are now live! See drop down menu below for more information.

General ADU Information

What is an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit)?

An ADU is an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, which is located on the same lot as a single-family detached dwelling unit.

Why are ADU's important?

California's lack of housing production and large population growth have caused a housing shortage. In fact, only half the homes needed to keep up with population growth were constructed in California in the past ten years. That means that cities statewide need to build more housing. It also means that housing is unaffordable, particularly for renters in California. This is especially true in Salinas, where we face a lack of affordable housing for seniors, students, farmworkers and families.

ADU's are also important for homeowners and families. ADU's are the perfect way to expand upon a housing investment, and create passive rental income for you and your family. ADU's are also an affordable way to house seniors or children on the same property as their relatives so families can better assist each other without living in the same unit.

New State ADU Laws make it easier to build an ADU:

  • An ADU must be approved by the jurisdiction in 60 days.
  • Cities do not charge development or traffic impact fees for ADU's (but school districts and water districts may apply impact fees).
  • Home Owners Association's (HOA's) must allow ADU's if space permits, per state law.
  • No extra parking required if within 1/2 mile of transit.
  • One detached ADU and one Junior ADU (required to be in existing footprint of home) allowed on a single-family lot.
  • Two detached ADU's allowed on one multi-family (more than 3 units) lot.
  • Four foot setbacks required for rear and side yards.

How to build an ADU in Salinas:

Step 1:

Review the California HCD's ADU Handbook to familiarize yourself with the State's ADU regulations.

Talk to a Planner (see contact information below) if you have any questions about ADU's, or want information on the new State of California ADU regulations.

Step 2:

Hire an building designer or architect with experience to help your vision come into a reality! Building designers, engineers or architects can draft the plans for your ADU, and work with the City's Building and Planning Departments to ensure the plans are ready to be approved and constructed.

Step 3:

Time to submit your new ADU to the Planning and Building Departments for review! Your building designer or architect can do this for you. Remember, once you submit complete plans, they must be approved in under 60 days in accordance with state laws.

Once your plans are approved and a Building Permit is issued, construction can begin! Periodically during the construction process, your ADU will require a building inspection. Once the ADU is complete and the final inspection takes place, your ADU is ready for a loved one or a tenant to live in.

City of Salinas ADU Hotline:

Phone: 831-758-7208

Email: [email protected]

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