Santa Clara ADU Zoning And Building Standards

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have become increasingly popular in Santa Clara, offering homeowners the opportunity to create additional living space, generate rental income, and accommodate growing families. Understanding the zoning and building standards is crucial for a successful ADU project.

Our team at DevArt8 Construction specializes in designing and constructing ADUs in Santa Clara. We guide you through the zoning requirements, handle the necessary permits, and ensure your ADU meets all building standards while bringing your vision to life.

Santa Clara ADU Zoning and Building Standards

Property Requirements

Santa Clara has specific property requirements for ADU construction. Single-family, duplex, and multi-family zoned lots have different regulations regarding ADU size, placement, and occupancy.

Building Size

ADU building size varies depending on the zoning and type of ADU (attached or detached). Single-family, duplex, and multi-family zoned lots have specific size limitations to ensure ADUs fit harmoniously within the neighborhood.

  • Single-Family Zoned Lots:

Single-family zoned lots allow for both attached and detached ADUs. The maximum ADU size is based on the lot size and the existing primary dwelling’s square footage.

  • Duplex Family Zoned Lots:

Duplex family zoned lots can have one ADU per lot, either attached or detached. The ADU size is limited to a percentage of the primary dwelling’s square footage.

  • Multi-Family Zoned Lots:

Multi-family zoned lots can have multiple ADUs, depending on the number of existing units. ADUs can be attached, detached, or converted from existing non-livable spaces.

  • Attached ADUs:

Attached ADUs share at least one wall with the primary dwelling and have a separate entrance.

  • Detached ADUs:

Detached ADUs are standalone structures, separate from the primary dwelling, with their own entrance.

Owner-occupancy

Santa Clara requires owner-occupancy for properties with ADUs. The property owner must reside in either the primary dwelling or the ADU.

Number of Units Allowed

The number of ADUs allowed on a property depends on the zoning. Single-family and duplex lots can have one ADU, while multi-family lots can have multiple ADUs based on the existing unit count.

Saratoga Building Height

Building height regulations vary based on the zoning and type of ADU.

  • Single-family: Single-family zoned lots have a maximum building height of 16 feet for detached ADUs and the same height as the primary dwelling for attached ADUs.
  • Duplex family: Duplex family zoned lots follow the same building height regulations as single-family lots for ADUs.
  • Multi-family: Multi-family zoned lots have varying building height limits depending on the specific zoning designation and the type of ADU (attached or detached).

Santa Clara Building Size

Building size regulations for ADUs in Santa Clara ensure that the units fit well within the neighborhood context.

  • Single-Family Freedom: Single-family zoned lots have generous ADU size allowances, with a maximum of 1,200 square feet or 50% of the primary dwelling’s living area, whichever is less.
  • Duplex house: Duplex lots allow ADUs up to 50% of the primary dwelling’s living area, with a maximum of 1,200 square feet.
  • Multi-Family Mix: Multi-family zoned lots have varying ADU size limits based on the specific zoning designation and the type of ADU (attached, detached, or converted).

Fire Safety Regulations

ADUs must comply with fire safety regulations, including fire sprinklers, smoke alarms, and proper egress windows or doors in sleeping areas.

Parking

Santa Clara has relaxed parking requirements for ADUs. In most cases, no additional parking is required if the ADU is located near public transit or in the primary dwelling’s existing space.

Utility Connections

ADUs can connect to the primary dwelling’s utility lines for water, sewer, and electricity. Separate meters may be required depending on the type of ADU and the property owner’s preference.

Setbacks

Setback requirements for ADUs vary based on the zoning and type of ADU. Detached ADUs generally have smaller setbacks compared to the primary dwelling.

Zoning Regulations

Santa Clara ADU Zoning Regulations

Single Family

Single-family zoned lots (R1) allow for one ADU per lot, either attached or detached, with specific size and placement regulations.

Duplex Family

Duplex family zoned lots (R2) follow similar regulations as single-family lots for ADUs, allowing one ADU per lot.

Multi-Family

Multi-family zoned lots (R3) can have multiple ADUs, with the number depending on the existing unit count and the specific zoning designation.

RF Zone Minimum Lot Area In Santa Clara

  • RF-20: RF-20 lots require a minimum lot size of 20,000 square feet, providing ample space for a comfortable ADU.
  • RF-30: RF-30 lots have a minimum lot size of 30,000 square feet, offering even more flexibility for ADU design and placement.
  • RF-40: RF-40 lots, with a minimum size of 40,000 square feet, provide the most spacious options for ADU construction in Santa Clara.

Room Specifications

When designing an ADU, it’s essential to consider the room specifications to ensure a functional and comfortable living space.

Santa Clara ADU Room Specifications

Room TypeSpecifications
Bathroom– Minimum floor area: 30 sq. ft.
– Waterproof flooring and walls
– Exhaust fan for ventilation
– Toilet, sink, and shower or bathtub
– Adequate lighting and electrical outlets
Kitchen– Minimum floor area: 50 sq. ft.
– Durable and easy-to-clean flooring
– Sufficient storage and counter space
– Refrigerator, sink, and cooking appliances
– GFCI electrical outlets near water sources
Sleeping Areas– Minimum floor area: 70 sq. ft.
– Comfortable room temperature control
– Natural light and ventilation
– Emergency escape route (egress window or door)
– Ample electrical outlets and lighting
Storage– Conveniently located near living areas
– Adjustable shelving or built-in cabinets
– Proper ventilation to prevent moisture buildup
– Adequate lighting for visibility
– Durable and moisture-resistant materials

Santa Clara Requirements

Santa Clara has specific requirements for different types of ADUs to ensure they meet safety standards and integrate well with the primary dwelling.

Detached ADU Santa Clara: Detached ADUs are standalone structures, separate from the primary dwelling. They must meet setback requirements, height limits, and size regulations based on the zoning.

Attached ADU Santa Clara: Attached ADUs share at least one wall with the primary dwelling and must have a separate entrance. They are subject to the same height limit as the primary dwelling.

JADU Santa Clara: Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs) are created within the existing space of the primary dwelling. They have a maximum size of 500 square feet and require an efficiency kitchen.

Rental Requirements

When renting out an ADU, property owners should be aware of the following rental requirements:

  • Proof of income: Landlords may require proof of income to ensure the tenant can afford the rent. Generally, a tenant’s monthly income should be at least three times the rent.
  • Credit score: A credit check helps landlords assess the tenant’s financial responsibility. A minimum credit score of 600 is often required.
  • Rental history: Previous rental history, including timely rent payments and proper maintenance, can be a good indicator of a tenant’s reliability.
  • Application fee: Landlords may charge an application fee to cover the cost of background checks and credit reports.
  • Security deposit: A security deposit, typically equal to one month’s rent, is collected to cover potential damages or unpaid rent.
  • Proof of renter’s insurance: Landlords may require tenants to carry renter’s insurance to protect their personal belongings and to cover potential liability issues.
  • Pet policy: Landlords should clearly state their pet policy, including any restrictions on breed, size, or number of pets allowed.
  • Smoking policy: Landlords should specify whether smoking is permitted on the property, and if so, in which areas.

Development Standards For Santa Clara ADU

Development standards for ADUs in Santa Clara vary based on the type of ADU and the zoning of the property.

ADU TypesDevelopment Standards Specifications
Single-family– Maximum size: 1,200 sq. ft. or 50% of primary dwelling
– Height limit: 16 feet (detached), same as primary dwelling (attached)
– Setbacks: Reduced setbacks for detached ADUs
– Parking: Not required in most cases
– Owner-occupancy: Required
Duplex– Maximum size: 1,200 sq. ft. or 50% of primary dwelling
– Height limit: 16 feet (detached), same as primary dwelling (attached)
– Setbacks: Reduced setbacks for detached ADUs
– Parking: Not required in most cases
– Owner-occupancy: Required
Multi-family– Number of ADUs: Based on existing unit count
– Size: Varies based on zoning and ADU type
– Height limit: Varies based on zoning and ADU type
– Setbacks: Varies based on zoning and ADU type
– Parking: Not required in most cases
Junior ADUs (JADUs)– Maximum size: 500 sq. ft.
– Location: Within the primary dwelling
– Kitchen: Efficiency kitchen required
– Bathroom: May share with primary dwelling
– Parking: Not required

Santa Clara Property Designations For ADU

When planning an ADU, it’s crucial to consider the property’s designated zones and any associated risks or restrictions.

  • Flood zones: Properties located in flood zones may require additional permits and specific building requirements to mitigate potential flood damage.
  • Geohazard zones: Properties in geohazard zones, such as those prone to earthquakes or landslides, may have additional construction requirements to ensure the ADU’s stability and safety.
  • Easements: Easements on the property, such as utility or access easements, may restrict the placement of the ADU or require additional approvals.

ADU Permit Requirements And Fees

Building an ADU in Santa Clara requires obtaining the necessary permits and paying associated fees.

Santa Clara ADU Permit Requirements and Fees

  • Building Permit: A building permit is required for ADU construction, ensuring the unit meets all building codes and safety standards. Fees vary based on the ADU’s size and type.
  • Electrical Permit: An electrical permit is necessary for any electrical work performed during ADU construction. This ensures the electrical system is installed safely and up to code.
  • Plumbing Permit: A plumbing permit is required for any plumbing work, including the installation of sinks, toilets, and showers. This ensures proper water supply and waste disposal.
  • Other Permits: Depending on the scope of the project, other permits may be required, such as mechanical permits for HVAC systems or sewer connection permits.

Design Your Dream ADU Today!

Take the first step towards transforming your Santa Clara property with a beautiful, functional ADU. Contact DevArt8 Construction today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can make your ADU vision a reality. Let’s work together to design and build the perfect accessory dwelling unit that enhances your lifestyle and complements your home.

FAQ’s

Yes, but specific setbacks and design considerations apply. Contact the Woodside Planning Department for detailed guidance on navigating unique lot shapes.

Some lenders offer ADU loans, but traditional home loans can also be used for ADU construction, especially if they add value to your property.

Yes! The State of California offers various ADU incentive programs, including grants for low-income homeowners and developers. Research state and local programs to see if you qualify for financial assistance.

Related Articles to Santa Clara