City of Santa Clara ADU Regulations



Lot Size:

6,000 sq.ft. (with existing single-family dwelling and two covered parking spaces)

Maximum ADU Floor Area:

Attached: shall not exceed 50% of existing living area with 1,200 sq.ft. max.

Attached (second-floor): shall not exceed 66% of the first-floor building area

Detached: 1,200 sq.ft.

No. of Bedrooms:  

Max. 2 bedrooms


No min/max


Require separate bathroom and kitchen facilities (permanent range, counters, refrigerator, sink). Max. 1 bathroom.


Properties with an ADU are not required to provide additional onsite parking beyond lot requirements. Additionally, if main dwelling unit is subject to a preferential parking permit program for on-street parking, ADU to also be eligible for preferential parking permit program.


Attached (second story):

  1. At least 5' from front wall of first floor of main dwelling unit. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if garage area of house is closer to the front property line than the living area of main dwelling, then second-floor accessory unit areas above the garage shall be stepped back at least 10' from front wall of garage.
  2. At least 3' from side walls of first floor, or clerestory windows with min. sill height of 5' to be provided and maintained on all side elevations.
  3. At least 3' from the rear walls of the first floor, or clerestory windows with a minimum sill height of 5' shall be provided and maintained on all rear elevations.
  4. Second-floor outdoor spaces associated with ADUs to be located on rear elevations and must be set back at least 15' from side property line. Max. depth for second-floor outdoor spaces associated with ADU is 4'.


  1. Min. rear setback is 5' and Min. side setback is 3'. Must maintain a 5' setback beyond existing front setback of main dwelling unit. In conjunction with other accessory buildings, may cover not more than forty percent (40%) of the area of any rear yard.


Max. 14'. Attached shall not exceed one story in height on lots that are less than 6,000 sq.ft.



Rear Yard Coverage:

Max. 40%

Materials / Design:

The roof, siding and windows, whether attached to the main dwelling or detached building, to be consistent with the roof slope, materials and design of principal residence, in accordance with the City’s design guidelines.   


Enclosed or internal staircases to access attached second-floor accessory units required.

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