Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program Implemented

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News Date: 
December 17, 2020
Grey cottage style ADU white white columns

The City of Salinas (City), along with other California cities, is facing a major housing shortage, resulting in higher rents and housing prices and creating an affordability crisis. Taking advantage of new State guidelines, the City has been working to improve its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) process over the last couple years, revising the zoning code, and adopting a development impact “fee holiday” for ADUs for a five year period. However, more needs to be done as the City is evaluating additional ways to streamline the process and reduce costs for building an ADU.

ADUs are a vitally important way to house residents affordably and can also provide income to homeowners. ADU's are great for adults with small families and provide an option 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.

Recently, the City of Salinas has taken the following steps to make it easier to build ADUs:

  • The Community Development Department/Permit Center has developed an ADU Website for residents and builders.
  • The Permit Center has set up an ADU hotline and email for residents to assist them with their ADU project. We can also answer questions and facilitate between homeowners, builders/architects, and various City departments such as Building, Development Engineering, and Current Planning.
  • Planning staff participates in the United Way ADU Policy Subcommittee Meetings.

The City is currently developing the following resources to expand its ADU Program:

  • City of Salinas contracted with Phillips Seabrook to create a delay of enforcement program for unpermitted ADUs, as well as proof of construction guides for residents or contractors converting existing structures to ADUs.
  • The City is awaiting funding from the State of California LEAP Grant (Local Early Action Planning) that includes funding to develop permit ready plans for new ADUs and information materials to guide homeowners through the process.

ADUs in Salinas – by the numbers:

  • Currently, (74) ADUs are going through the permitting process in Salinas. There are (3) Junior ADUs in process; (40) detached ADUs in process; and (31) attached ADUs in process.
  • Since 2015, the City of Salinas has finaled permits for (44) ADU units; (34) ADU units were detached; and (10) ADU units were attached to the main house.



ADU Permits


Detached Attached
2015 5 5 0
2016 3 2 1
2017 3 3 0
2018 15 11 4
2019 6 4 2
2020 12 9 3
TOTAL 44 34 10


If you would have questions about the City's ADU program or need assistance with the process, please contact the City at:

831-758- 7208 (ADU Hotline)

[email protected]