El Cerrito

California

[ Last updated on September 23, 2021 ]

El Cerrito has updated its ADU ordinance to comply with new state laws. Below are the up-to-date requirements to build an ADU in the city.

Zoning

All properties zoned for single family, two-family or multifamily may be eligible to build ADUs.

Number of units

The number of ADUs you’re able to build depends on how your lot is zoned:

  • Lots zoned for single family use may add 1 ADU and 1 Jr. ADU (JADU).
  • Lots zoned for two-family or multi-family may add up to 2 detached ADUs per lot or up to 25% of the existing units in the building if conversions of existing non-living space.

Building size

The maximum ADU you can build depends on the ADU type:

  • The maximum size is 500 sq. ft. for a JADU
  • 850 sq. ft. for a one bedroom detached ADU
  • 1,200 sq. ft. for a 2 bedroom detached ADU
  • Attached ADUs can be the lesser of 50% of the existing primary dwelling unit(s) or max sq. ft. size.

Building height

Detached ADUs can reach a maximum height of 16 feet. Attached ADUs must comply with daylight plane, building height, and any other provisions relevant to building height applicable to the primary dwelling unit in the zoning district.

Setbacks

Minimum setbacks of 4 feet from the side and rear lot lines (underlying zone setbacks apply for units > 800 sq. ft., as well as 6 feet from any existing structures are required for detached ADUs.

Parking

One parking spot required unless any of the following true:

  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.
  • When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
  • When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.

Owner-occupancy

Owner occupancy is not a requirement for permitting an ADU from January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2025. This is a great opportunity for rental property owners to increase their yields in a cost-effective way.

Rental

While long-term rentals are permitted for ADUs, short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb for less than 30 days) are not permitted in the city.

Watch-outs

Are you in a creek protection area? Do you have a utility easement over your property? Reach out to us and we’ll help you build a custom ADU to fit your unique property characteristics and local regulations!

Get your free consultation and estimate today!