Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)


For Information on ADU


Phone:  650-329-3117

2018 Summary Guide to ADUs and JADUs (Effective December 6, 2018)

ADU Ordinance # 5453 (Effective December 6, 2018)

Recent & Upcoming Events


Project Background 

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a separate, self-contained small living unit with bathroom and kitchen facilities located on the same lot as the single family residence. It can be either detached from or attached to the primary residence with a separate entrance. A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADUs) is a unit with approximately 500 square feet of living space contained entirely within an existing single-family structure. 

In response to the Bay Area’s regional housing shortages, Governor Brown signed three new laws (SB 1069AB 2299 and AB 2406) in September 2016 to encourage the construction of ADUs and JADUs by easing the regulatory burdens and barriers of existing local laws. In response to these new state policies, the Palo Alto City Council adopted a new ADU and JADU ordinance on May 8, 2017. This ordinance became effective June 8, 2017. The City is currently studying options to update this ordinance.

Please note that ADUs are permitted in all residential zoned districts, including the Single Family Residential (R1) District. 

June 2017 to Present Ordinance Update Meeting Materials 

City Council Meetings

Planning and Transportation Commission Meetings

Initial Ordinance Update Meeting Materials (January 2016- June 2017) 

City Council Meetings

Planning and Transportation Commission Meetings

Want to learn more? 

Please peruse the ADU resources page to learn more about local, regional and state ADU and JADU policies and approval processes. 

Stay in the loop! 

Please sign up here to receive project updates via email.