What is an ADU?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a separate dwelling unit that contains independent kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities, and is located on a residential zoned lot, subordinate to main dwelling.  An ADU permit is required through the Planning Division.  This review is administrative with no public hearing notice.    

Planning Approval Time Lines: 

ADU and JADU applications take up to 20 calendar days to process.  Within that time frame, Planning Staff will either approve the project or provide feed back to ensure compliance with the Zoning Code.  Once the permit is approved, the applicant may apply for the Building Permit posthaste, as ADUs are not subject to appeal.

Updated State Law 

In order to streamline the review process and help expedite ADU approval, several changes to state law were made in 2017, including: 

  • Parking Requirements - Required off street parking for ADUs are waived if the subject property is located within a half-mile of a transit stop.
  • Fire Sprinklers - If the main dwelling does not currently have a fire sprinkler system, the ADU will not be subject to installing a system. 
  • Utility Hook-Ups - Separate utility hook-ups for ADUs are considered voluntary and are not required, as the second unit can be tied into the main dwelling. 

For more information, see Accessory Dwelling Unit Handout

Building an ADU? Go all-electric. 

  • Save on costs for new construction
  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Enhance earthquake safety
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas 

All electric flyer screenshot

Save money on new construction.

Forgoing the installation of gas lines in all-electric new construction homes saves $7000 on average. While this number differs for detached ADUs, as gas lines are only run from the ADU to the meter, there is still an overall expected cost savings on newly constructed ADUs.

Save even more by adding solar to your ADU.

Installing solar will reduce your electricity bill and protect you from rising energy costs. With net metering, solar system owners are paid when they provide excess energy generated from solar panels to the grid. Installing solar panels produces thousands in energy savings for an ADU over the lifetime of the solar panels.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Natural gas stoves and appliances release carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and other ultrafine particles that can affect respiratory health and cause other issues, such as headaches and nausea. Switching to an electric stove and electric appliances greatly improves air quality in the home. 

Enhance Earthquake Safety

One in every four fires after and earthquake results from damaged gas lines. Help make your home safer and more secure in the event of an earthquake by going all-electric. 

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Natural gas combustion in residential and commercial uses accounts for 12% of California’s emissions each year. All-electric new construction ADUs and single family homes will run on 100% carbon-free electricity and produce zero carbon emissions due to Albany's partnership with EBCE.

 Appliance   Relevant information 
 Heat Pump Water Heater 
Heat  Pump Space Heater 
  • 2-3 times more efficient than gas heaters
  • Wide price range
  • Homes without air conditioning will pay an extra $200 per year for a heat pump space heater, including capital and operation costs 
Induction Stovetop 
  • Improves indoor air quality 
  • Faster boiling times
     Electric Dryer 
    •  $50-100 cheaper than gas dryers 
    • Higher operating costs ($0.30-40 per load compared to $0.15-20 for a gas dryer)