STATEWIDE UPDATE: New California ADU Bills SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 have passed. These laws will create more options for building an ADU in Emeryville in 2020. To prepare for the upcoming changes use our ADU Services to learn how these laws will effect your property!
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Emeryville ADUs

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Emeryville ADU Guidelines Last Updated 08/11/19


The city government of Emeryville has updated its local zoning codes to comply with the State ADU mandate.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2016 is adopted with the following amendment(s): 16-008 & 16-009
Relevant state bill updates for SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 are shown in green below.


Number of ADUs allowed:

One ADU per one primary unit.

AB68 & AB881 Update: Properties which convert existing space to create ADUs may be eligible for one ADU -AND- one JADU.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Attached, detached and junior ADUs.

Lot size:

Per state requirements.

AB68 & AB881 Update: Properties will not be subject to minimum lot standards by ordinance or of the applicable zoning district.

ADU size:

Floor area limit (EMC section 9‐5.1406): attached ADU 50% of main house up to 1200 square feet, detached ADU 100% of main house up to 1200 square feet.

AB68 & AB881 Update: Properties will be allowed up to 850 square feet for a one bedroom or up to 1,000 square feet for a two bedroom ADU.


Setback. A Secondary Residential Unit shall be subject to the same setback requirements as the principal Single Unit, as set forth in Section 9-4.301, except that the minimum rear setback shall be five feet. [Note change above – no setback for garage conversion.] Setback (9‐5.1408(b): No setback for garage conversion to ADU. Separation. A Secondary Residential Unit may be either attached to or detached from the principal Single Unit with which it is associated. If detached, the Secondary Residential Unit shall be separated from the principal Single Unit by no less than six feet. [See court requirement below.]

AB68 & AB881 Update: The maximum required setback for a detached new construction ADU shall be no more than 4 feet from the rear or side property lines.


Parking (Section 9‐5.1407): No parking is required for ADU. If the garage is converted to ADU,
Parking for main house can be in the front yard or street side yard if there is no other place for it.

AB68 & AB881 Update: Properties which convert an existing garage will not be subject to replacement parking requirements.

Fire Safety:

Per state requirements.

Shape, materials and style:

A Secondary Residential Unit shall be compatible with the principal Single Unit with which it is associated in terms of form, materials, style, and other relevant design factors.


The ADU shall step down at an angle from a maximum height of thirty feet (30') at fifteen feet (15') from the rear lot line to a maximum height of fifteen feet (15') at five feet (5') from the rear lot line.

Design review:

Ministerial review process.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Owner Occupancy Required. The owner of the property must occupy either the principal Single Unit or the Secondary Residential Unit.

Units May Not Be Sold Separately. A Secondary Residential Unit and its associated principal Single
The unit may not be sold separately either by conversion to condominiums, a division of the lot on which they are located, or by other means.

SB13 Update: Owner-occupancy requirements for ADUs will be voided statewide for 5 years.

Utility connections:

Sewer Lateral. A proposal to establish a Secondary Residential Unit shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 8 of Title 7 concerning sewer laterals, including replacement or upgrading of the sewer lateral if required.

Allowed Zones:

You listed the following zones and asked to confirm if ADUs are permitted in these zone: RH, RM, RMH, MUR, MURS, MUN. All of those zones are correct except for the MUN. ADUs are not allowed in the MUN zone because the MUN zone is “Mixed Use with Non-Residential.” See Section 9-5.1404 in the attached ADU regulations.

AB68 & AB881 Update: ADUs will be allowed statewide in all single-family or multi-family zoning districts.

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2016 is adopted with the following amendment(s): 16-008 & 16-009

Emeryville City Planning Offices

Emeryville Planning Division

1333 Park Ave.Emeryville, CA 94608 Emeryville, CA 94608

Emeryville ADU Marketplace

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ADU Financing

CA Statewide

Tailored to ADU construction.

Based on project size & appreciation.

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Karyn Jones

Program Representative

Call Now (760) 496-5959

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Costs / ROI


* upon completion of ADU


* based on local average price per sqft


* estimated by location


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


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

Rental Estimate = (Rent Per Sqft: $3.78) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)

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