The San Fernando Valley (City of Los Angeles) has updated its ADU ordinance to comply with new state laws. Below are the up-to-date requirements for permitting an ADU in the Valley.
Updated Sep 14, 2021
Woodland Hills, Tarzana, Encino, Winnetka, Reseda, Lake Balboa, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hills, Northridge, and others
These are just some of the many neighborhoods of the bustling San Fernando Valley. Whether your home is located near Balboa Park, Pierce College, or otherwise, Cottage has you covered.
Most of the San Fernando Valley is governed by Los Angeles City regulations when it comes to your Accessory Dwelling Unit. While the city of Los Angeles does have a Department of Building Services office in the Valley, all permits still follow the city's regulations and building code.
All properties zoned for single family and multifamily use may be eligible to build ADUs.
Number of units
Lots zoned for single family use that have an existing dwelling are permitted to add 1 ADU and 1 Junior ADU (JADU).
Maximum square footage is determined by your ADU type:
500 sq. ft. for a Junior ADU (JADU)
1,200 sq. ft. for a detached ADU (unless limited by local zoning rules)
50% of existing dwelling, or none if new building. Exception: A 1 bedroom attached ADU with a Floor Area of <850 square feet is always allowed, and a 2+ bedroom attached ADU with a Floor Area of <1000 square feet is always allowed.
Detached ADUs have a limit of 2 stories, but there may be zoning height limits if the ADU is a new building or addition that are typically 25ft.
Attached ADUs follow the local zoning height limit if the ADU is a new building or addition.
Minimum setbacks of 4 feet from the side and rear lot lines, as well as 10 feet from any existing structures are required for detached ADUs.
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 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.
While long-term rentals are permitted for ADUs, short-term rentals (e.g. Airbnb for less than 30 days) are not permitted in the San Fernando Valley, per Los Angeles city regulations.
Do you have a utility easement over your property? Are you in a FEMA flood zone? Reach out to us and we’ll help you build a custom ADU to fit your unique property characteristics and local regulations!
Want to learn more about ADU regulations in your area?
Book a free consultation and estimate with a Cottage ADU Expert to find out what’s possible on your property!