STATEWIDE UPDATE: New California ADU Bills SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 have passed. These laws will create more options for building an ADU in San Ramon 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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San Ramon ADUs

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San Ramon ADU Guidelines Last Updated 08/11/19


The city government of San Ramon will approve ADUs under California's statewide mandated regulations.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2016 without amendments is adopted.
Relevant state bill updates for SB13, AB68, AB881, AB670 are shown in green below.


City Hint: The city has not yet responded to requests for ADU permit volumes for the past year, but they will be provided here once response has been received.


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 minimum requirements.

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

ADU size:

The changes based on the new State standards, the unit size for an ADU is as follows: 1) Attached or detached ADU shall be a minimum 150 square feet in size 2) An attached ADU shall be no more than 50 percent of the floor area of the existing dwelling up to a maximum 1,200 square feet 3) A detached ADU shall be no more than 1,200 square feet in size

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.


Required setbacks. a.) In all R zones or a PD zone, an attached ADU or detached two-story ADU must conform to the setbacks generally applicable to residential development in the applicable zone. b.) In the RS-6 and RS-7 zones, a detached one-story ADU shall be setback a minimum of twenty (20) feet from the front property line, five (5) feet from the interior side property lines, seven (7) feet from the corner side property line, and seven (7) feet from the rear property line. c.) In all other R zones or a PD zone, a detached one-story ADU shall be setback a minimum of twenty (20) feet from the front property line, seven (7) feet from the interior side property lines, seven (7) feet from the corner side property line, and seven (7) feet from the rear yard property line.

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.


One (1) parking space in the driveway generally meets the parking requirement.

Parking. An ADU shall require that one covered or uncovered
Parking space to be provided in addition to the parking required for the
Primary unit. The additional space shall not be located within a
Required FRONT setback.

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

Fire Safety:

Per state minimum requirements.

Shape, materials and style:

a. The exterior design shall be in harmony with the immediate
Neighborhood. Building materials, colors and exterior finishes
Should be substantially the same as those on the existing dwelling.
b. Outside access to the ADU shall not be in the front of
The existing dwelling. Side or rear access shall not be visible
From the front or street.


Height of the ADU will be determined by the maximum height of the underlying zone.

Design review:

Ministerial review per state standards.

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Occupancy. The primary dwelling or ADU shall be owner occupied.

Subdivision. No subdivision or land or air rights shall be allowed on the
Subject parcel.

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

Utility connections:

Local health officer approval where a private sewage disposal system is being used, if required. (State requirements)


1. Attached dwelling unit. A dwelling unit that has one or more party
walls in common with another dwelling unit.
2. Detached dwelling unit. A dwelling unit that does not share any walls
in common with another dwelling unit.
3. Secondary unit. An attached or detached rental dwelling unit located
on a lot which contains a single-family dwelling. A secondary unit
shall include provisions for living, eating, sleeping, cooking and
sanitation. A secondary unit is not considered an accessory building as
defined in Division D2 and Division D8 (Glossary).

Allowed Zones:

Secondary units are permitted in the RC, HR, RE, RS, RM, RMH, and in PD zones for residential uses on lots with a single-family dwelling.

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

Existing Structures

Non-conforming units. Where the existing dwelling unit constitutes a legal
non-conforming unit, a secondary unit may be constructed only if the nonconformity
is not expanded and the secondary unit meets all current applicable
zoning standards.

SB13 Update: Amnesty program to permit unpermitted units will be administered statewide, allowing non-health and safety code violations to be deferred.

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2016 without amendments is adopted.

San Ramon City Planning Offices

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San Ramon ADU Marketplace

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Featured Financing Program

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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Customer since February, 2019

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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: $4.49) * (ADU's Living Space: sqft)

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Our ADU Services and ADU Marketplace provide the fastest and lowest cost way to get started with your ADU project.

How does it work? Get started on your project with expert assistance and without commitment using our customized ADU Property and Design Reports as your first step. Then, get on-site visits from local contractors who can provide you with guidance and estimates for your ADU project.

Our Key Advantages

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Our ADU Process

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Use our ADU Property & Design Reports as a starting point to plan your ADU project. Our experts will do the legwork with your city or county planning office and design custom ADU concepts for your property and your needs.

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Getting your designs ready for city permitting and construction can speed up your ADU project and reduce unforseen costs later on in the process.

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