Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning

Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units

Need more living space for your family?

Need more living space for your family? Want to earn rental income? You can build an accessory dwelling unit on the residential or agriculturally zoned property that you own.

What is an ADU?

An ADU is a dwelling unit with a full kitchen and bathroom, which is an accessory use to a primary or main single family residence. The ADU can be used as a rental, but cannot be sold separately from the primary or main single family residence. The existing residence must be a legally established structure.

Overview

On January 1, 2017, new State laws took effect that create new opportunities for accessory dwelling units (also known as ADUs, “backyard homes,” or “granny flats”). The Department of Regional Planning released an Interim Policy memo on how to regulate requests for accessory dwelling units until the County updates its ADU ordinance. The memo includes basic regulations for ADUs. Once an ordinance is approved and adopted in accordance with State law, this memo will no longer be in effect.


How to apply for an ADU

An Accessory Dwelling Unit shall be permitted with a site plan review if:

  • The zoning of the property is R-A, R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, A-1 or A-2 (or any other zone that allows single-family residences by right; look up your zoning);
  • One single family residence (legal) exists on site; and
  • The ADU complies with the development standards of the provided summary.

In addition to submitting a site plan application to the Department of Regional Planning, you will need to submit the following additional documentation:

  • Copies of Building Description Blank/Slip from L.A. County Assessor’s office
  • Copies of building permits from L.A. County Building & Safety office

Development standards

ADUs are subject to certain standards for unit size, height, yard setbacks and parking. These standards may be further restricted by the proposed ADU Ordinance. Click summary for general development standards for ADUs.

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Department of Regional Planning
320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
T: (213) 974-6411 . F: (213) 626-0434
TDD: (213) 617-2292
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