Accessory Dwelling Units

Zoning regulations for Secondary Units

This describes the zoning regulations that apply as of May 12, 2017 to the construction of any new Secondary Unit, the conversion of an existing permitted building into a Secondary Unit, or the legalization of an existing unpermitted Secondary Unit. These draft regulations bring the City’s Secondary Unit regulations into compliance with California State Bill (SB) 1069 and Assembly Bill (AB) 2299, which amended Government Code section 65852.2 and became effective as of January 1, 2017.


Definition

A “Secondary unit” (also known as “accessory
dwelling unit,” “in-law unit”, or “granny flat”)
is an attached or detached accessory dwelling
unit that is located on the same lot as an existing
One-Family Dwelling facility; provides complete
independent living facilities for one or more
persons, including permanent provisions for
living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation;
and meets the standards and criteria of Section
17.103.080.

Review
procedure

Design Review Exemption, to be processed within
120 days of application receipt.
The application will be considered ministerially,
without discretionary review or a hearing. No
public notice is required, and public input cannot be
considered per State law.

Secondary
unit types

Category One: Located entirely within the building
envelope of a One-Family Dwelling Facility or
detached accessory structure legally in existence
prior to January 1, 2017; involve no expansion of
the existing structure; have independent exterior
access; and side and rear setbacks are sufficient
for fire safety.
Category Two: Involve construction of a new
structure, or an exterior addition to an existing
structure.

Maximum
number of units

Secondary Units are allowed only on lots with an
existing One-Family Dwelling Facility
(the Primary Dwelling Unit).
A total of one Primary Dwelling Unit and one
Secondary Dwelling Unit are allowed.

Lot size

No minimum lot size, so long as the property is a
legal lot of record.

Occupancy
requirements

The Secondary Unit may be rented but may not
be sold separately from the primary dwelling.
The Secondary Unit may only be utilized for
Permanent Residential Activities.

Rental and sale
of unit

The Secondary Unit may be rented, but may not be
sold separately from the primary dwelling.
The Secondary Unit may only be utilized for
Permanent Residential Activities.


Parking location

If a covered parking structure is demolished to
construct a Secondary Unit, the replacement
parking may be located in any configuration
(including covered, uncovered, tandem or
mechanical lift)

Fire flow

The fire flow and water pressure on the adjoining
street must meet minimum Fire Marshal
requirements

Fire sprinklers

A Secondary Unit is only required to provide fire
sprinklers if sprinklers are required for the Primary Unit.

This is informational only and is a general synopsis of the regulations contained within Section 17.103.080.

City of Oakland, Planning and Building Departmen

250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd floor

Oakland, CA 94612


Category One


Category Two

Architectural
compatibilty
No architectural
compatibility
requirements
Must be clearly subordinate
to Primary Dwelling in size
and location; exterior
materials must match
or be visually compatible

Maximum
height
No height
restriction
For attached or detached
Secondary Units outside
required setbacks, height
limits are consistent with
standards for that zone.
For detached Secondary Units
within a required side or rear
yard, maximum wall height
is 10 feet and roof height is
14 feet.

Maximum
floor area
No size
restriction
Not  permitted within the 
S-9 Fire  Safety  Protection
Combining Zone. Outside of
the S-9 Zone, not permitted if
accessed by a street with
pavement less than
20 feet wide or by a dead-end
street longer than 60 feet.


Emergency
Access
No restriction Not  permitted within  the 
S-9 Fire Safety Protection
Combining Zone. Outside of
the S-9 Zone, not permitted if
accessed by a street with
pavement less than 20 feet
wide or by a dead-end street
longer than 600 feet.


Number of
required

parking
spaces
No additional
parking
required
No additional parking
required for Secondary
Units located:
•   Within ½ mile of a bus
stop, train station or,
if appropriate, paratransit
stop;
•   In a historic district;
•   Where on-street parking
permits are required but not
offered to the Secondary Unit
occupant;
•   Within one block of a
fixed car-share
pick-up/drop-off spot.
For all other Category Two
Secondary Units:
•   One parking space per
unit required in zones other
than S-11 and S-12.
•   In S-11, one space per
bedroom, up to maximum of
2 per unit.
•   In S-12, one space per
bedroom.


Parking
space
requirements
No
additional
parking
required
Required parking spaces may
be provided as tandem
parking on an existing
driveway or in required
setbacks unless such
parking is not feasible based
upon specific site or regional
topographical, or fire and
life safety conditions.


Setbacks

No setback
restrictions,
other than
those
sufficient for
fire safety
A detached Secondary Unit
may extend into a required
side and rear setback up to 4
feet from the lot line.
No more than 50% of the
horizontal area of the
required rear yard
may be covered by facilities
over 6 feet high.
A Secondary Unit located
above a garage and
conforming to maximum
height and other applicable
regulations is not required
to have a side or rear
setback of more than 5 feet.
All other Secondary Units
must meet the setbacks
adopted for that zone.

Utility
connections
No new or
separate utility
connection shall
be required
A new or separate utility
connection maybe required,
but the  connection  fee 
or capacity  charge shall  be
proportionate to the burden
of Secondary Unit on the
water or sewer system.