Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) City Regulations

Are ADUs allowed in Emeryville:


Number of ADUs allowed:

Only one ADU per primary unit.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Attached, detached and junior ADUs are all permitted.

Lot size:

Refer to minimum state requirements.

ADU size:

An attached ADU is limited to 50% of the main residence up to 1,200 sq. ft., whereas detached ADUs  up to 1,200 sq. ft. are allowed.


ADUs are subject to the same setback requirements as the principal residential unit, as detailed in Section 9-4.301, with the exception that the minimum rear setback is five feet. There are no setbacks for a garage converted into an ADU.


Detached ARUs must be separated from the primary residential unit by no less than six feet.


No additional parking is required for an ADU. If a garage is converted into an ADU, parking spaces for the main residence can be in front yard or street side yard if there is no other available spaces.

Fire Safety:

Refer to state requirements.

Shape, materials and style:

All ARU design (form, materials, and style) should be compatible with the primary unit with which it is associated.


ARUs must step down at an angle from a maximum height of thirty feet at fifteen feet from the rear lot line to a maximum height of fifteen feet at five feet from the rear lot line.

Design review:

Must follow ministerial review process per state guidelines.


The property owner must reside in either the principal Single Unit or the ARU. An accessory dwelling unit and its associated primary residence cannot be sold separately either by conversion to condominiums, division of the lot on which they are located, or by other means.

Utility connections:

ARUs shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 8 of Title 7 concerning sewer laterals, including potential required replacement or upgrading of the sewer lateral.

Allowed Zones:

ARUs must comply with all applicable provisions of the Emeryville Municipal Code and State and Federal law, including, but not limited to, building and fire code requirements.

Code / Manual:

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