Pacifica

California

[ Last updated on September 24, 2021 ]

Pacifica 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
  • 1,200 sq. ft. for a detached ADU
  • Maximums for attached units are the numbers noted or not more than 50 percent of the primary dwelling floor area, whichever is greater.

Building height

Attached ADUs: Maximum height shall be thirty-five (35') feet if attached to a primary dwelling unit; or the lesser of twenty-five (25') feet or the height of the primary dwelling unit if attached to an accessory structure.

However, the maximum height shall be sixteen (16') feet in the following instances: the height of the primary dwelling unit is less than sixteen (16') feet; if any portion of an attached accessory dwelling unit that is attached to an accessory structure would be located between a primary dwelling unit and a site's front property line; or any portion of an attached accessory dwelling unit is located less than five (5') from the side lot line or less than ten (10') feet from the street-side lot line or less than twenty (20') feet from the rear lot line.

Detached ADUs: Maximum height shall be twenty-five (25') feet or the height of the primary dwelling unit, whichever is less. However, the maximum height shall be sixteen (16') feet in the following instances: the height of the primary dwelling unit is less than sixteen (16') feet; if any portion of a detached accessory dwelling unit is located between a primary dwelling unit and a site's front property line; or any portion of a detached accessory dwelling unit is located less than five (5') from the side lot line or less than ten (10') feet from the street-side lot line or less than twenty (20') feet from the rear lot line.

Setbacks

Minimum setbacks of 4 feet from the side and rear lot lines.

A detached accessory dwelling unit that is greater than 800 sq. ft. in floor area shall be located at least 10 feet from any other building existing or under construction on the same site or an adjacent site. A detached accessory dwelling unit 800 sq. ft. in floor area or less shall require no minimum distance between structures.

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!