Jan 18th, 2023

CA ADU Setback Requirements Explained!

If you’re trying to figure out if you have enough space to build an ADU or what the maximum size is that you can build on your lot, one term that you may have heard come up is “Setbacks”. So what are these and what are the ADU Setback requirements on your property? Well, that is exactly what we are going to go over here!

What Are Setbacks?

To get us started, what are setbacks? Well, setbacks are the required distances between your ADU and property lines, fences, streets, and other structures. Let’s break down the most common setbacks that you must keep in mind if you are thinking about building an ADU.

Rear & Side ADU Setbacks

First you have the fence line setbacks– this is how far your ADU must be from the rear and side fence or the property line. These current setbacks are 4’, according to the state law.

However, there are some exceptions here. For example, for a corner lot, you often have a larger setback of 15’ from the side street, but do keep in mind that this setback can change based on local ordinances.

You also have the setbacks from the primary home which are required to be 5’ from the eves of the house.

Front Setback Requirements and Garage Conversions

Lastly, there are also setbacks for the front of the property if you are thinking about building there. The standard front setback requirements are around 25’ feet from the street or in line with the facade of the house, however, this will actually be changing starting in 2023. This change will allow you to have shorter setbacks from the front of the property in many areas where it will reduce to as low as only 4 feet!

I do want to make a note that these do not apply to garage conversions as you are grandfathered in – meaning that if the garage is closer than any of the standard setbacks, you don’t have to make any changes to be able to convert it.

A garage just like this one can be turned into an ADU - service provided by {Fran_brand_name} in Sacramento.

Not Enough Space? Here Are Some Other Options!

If you’re hearing these different setbacks and thinking that you may not have enough space, there are still a few options available. As I mentioned before, you can convert an existing garage into an ADU. Or you can build an attached ADU that shares a wall with your home and therefore you no longer have to deal with the setback from the main home giving you more space to work with.

Discover The ADU Setbacks Requirements On Your Property

Now setback requirements can vary depending on the local laws and regulations as well as on your specific property… so the best way to know your exact setbacks to build an ADU and if you have any easements would be to either reach out to your local planning department or have one of our trained ADU Experts come out, assess your property, and give you a firm estimate.

If you would like to schedule a time to get a free, no obligation ADU Property Analysis and Estimate for your property in Sacramento, just click here to request yours!

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