Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) City Guidelines

Are ADUs allowed in Sacramento:


Number of ADUs allowed:

A maximum of one secondary dwelling unit is permitted on one lot.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Any, however, each dwelling must be served by a driveway that meets the standards of the Public Works Department.

Lot size:

A lot must be at least 5,200 sq. ft. to allow for an ADU.

ADU size:

ADUs on a lot sized between 5,200 and 8,500 sq. ft. are capped at 400 sq. ft. Units on lots sized between 8,501 and 10,000 sq. ft. are limited to 500 sq. ft. Any lot sized over 10,000 sq. ft. can feature a  600 Sq. Ft. ADU. Attached ADUs cannot exceed 50% of the existing living area, with a maximum increase in livable area of 1,200 sq. ft.


All structural height, lot coverage, and setback requirements that apply to the primary single-family unit are applicable the secondary unit. No setback is required for an existing legal accessory structure converted to an ADU. Any secondary dwelling unit constructed above an accessory structure does require a minimum rear setback of five feet and a minimum side setback equal to the required setback for the primary dwelling unit or five feet, whichever is less.


One parking space per bedroom.

Fire Safety:

Fire sprinklers are required in accessory dwellings if also required in primary dwelling.

Shape, materials and style:

All ADUs should be design compatible with the primary residential dwelling and the surrounding neighborhood. This includes paint colors, materials, and textures of all exterior detailing trim. Additionally, any new construction secondary dwellings should use universal access design features, including “no step” entrances.


ADUs are allowed a maximum of 14 feet measured from the grade to the plate line and must not exceed the allowable height of the primary dwelling on the lot.


ADUs cannot be offered for sale separate from the primary dwelling unit, but may be rented.

Utility connections:

ADUs must have access to public sewer and water facilities in the RD zones.

Permit Fees:

Please refer to

Historic Requirements:

Any ADUs located within a historic district or accessory to a landmark is subject to site plan and design review under chapter 17.808.


Passageways are not required during construction of any ADU.

Existing Structures:

Conversion of existing structures is permitted provided that the ADU is entirely contained within an existing single-unit dwelling or existing legally-constructed accessory structure, is not located within a historic district, does not involve a landmark or involve modifications to the exterior of the landmark, has exterior access independent from the primary dwelling, and features side and rear setbacks are sufficient for fire safety.


Potential Rental Income:

According to, an ADU in Sacramento can generate $18,600+ per year in possible rental income.

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