Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUS)

A Junior ADU (or JADU) is a new category of dwelling units created by the State of California. There are several distinctions between a standard ADU and a JADU detailed in the table below. The main difference is that a JADU is not required to have a dedicated bathroom.

Requirements ADU JADU
Maximum Unit Size Yes. Generally up to 1,200 square feet or 50% of the living area. Yes. 500-square foot maximum.
Kitchen Yes Yes. 500-square foot maximum.
Bathroom Yes No. Common sanitation allowed.
Separate Entrance Depends Yes
Parking Depends. Parking may be eliminated and cannot be required under specified conditions. No. Parking cannot be required
Owner Occupancy Depends. Owner occupancy may be required Yes. Owner occupancy is required.
Ministerial Approval Process Yes Yes
Prohibition on Sale of ADU Yes Yes

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units Law In California

The State of California recently adopted legislation (SB 13, AB 68 and AB 881) that defines the standards local jurisdictions can apply to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU). This legislation is contained in the California State Government Code Section 65852.2. This state legislation supersedes the City’s provisions for ADUs and JADUs as outlined by respective city municipalities. The City’s specific requirements will be examined in early 2020, in the meantime, the provisions of state law, as outlined below, will be used to evaluate applications for ADUs and JADUs. Read more

Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) General Provisions
  • A. There is a limit of one JADU per lot zoned for single-family residences. The JADU shall be constructed within walls of a proposed or existing single-family residence.
  • b. Maximum size is 500 square feet, however, an additional 150 square foot expansion beyond the physical dimensions of the existing structure is permitted strictly to accommodate ingress and egress to JADU.
  • c. The JADU shall include a separate entrance from the main entrance to the proposed or existing single-family residence.
  • d. The JADU shall include an efficiency kitchen, which includes:
    • i. Cooking facility with appliances (240-volt service outlets now permitted)
    • ii. Food preparation counter and storage cabinets that are of reasonable size in relation to the size of the JADU
    • iii. No restriction on maximum waste line diameter
  • e. A deed restriction is required and must include the following stipulations:
    • i. Prohibition on the sale of the JADU separate from the sale of the single-family residence.
    • ii. Restriction on the size and attributes of the JADU.
    • iii. If a JADU is rented, the unit shall not be rented for a period of less than 30 consecutive calendar days
    • iv. Owner occupancy of one of the units on-site is required* *Owner-occupancy is not required if the owner is another governmental agency, land trust, or housing organization.
  • f. The JADU may share sanitation facilities (i.e. bathroom/shower) with a primary residence.

III. Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units on the Same Lot a. Both a JADU in an existing space and a new detached ADU up to 800 square feet, maximum height 16 ft., may occur on the same single-family lot, with some limitations (see CA Gov Code 65852.2.(e)(1)(A) and (B)).
IV. Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit on Multi-Family Residentially Zoned Properties a. Multi-family buildings may add ADUs up to 25% of the existing unit space (example: 4- the unit building would be allowed one ADU), or at least one (1) ADU. These ADUs must meet building code requirements and the existing space must not be currently used for a living (storage units and garages would qualify). 3 Accessory Dwelling Unit and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit Standards.
b. Spaces required as part of a condition of approval or zoning requirement (e.g. long-term bike storage room) cannot be converted. c. Not more than two detached units may be added to a lot with a multi-family building if no more than 16 feet high with 4-foot side and rear setbacks.
V. Parking Requirements a. No parking for an ADU is required if:
i. Within ½ mile walking distance of public transit.
ii. Located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
iii. ADU is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or accessory structure.
iv. When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the ADU occupant.
v. When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the ADU.
b. No parking is required for a JADU.
c. No replacement parking for the primary residence is required when a garage, carport or covered parking is converted to an ADU or is demolished to provide an area for an ADU.

Read more


Select Projects
How it works
  • Design Everest
    Schedule Consultation

    To start, a Design Everest consultant will schedule a discussion with you to understand your requirements completely.

  • Design Everest
    Quick Turnaround

    Once we understand your needs, we schedule an experienced engineer’s site visit at your property, as scheduled, to inspect the structure.

  • Design Everest
    Way Forward

    After the inspection, we’ll tell you if any further engineering is required to enhance the safety and value of the property or if needed a report we will provide you. We can also provide you with the necessary Engineering.

Why choose Design Everest?
  • Experience & value engineering

    We are a true one-stop engineering shop with expertise in a wide range of specializations in providing residential & commercial services as listed above. Our highly experienced engineers design efficient structures and are always looking for value engineering solutions so that customers pay less in construction, materials, efficiency etc.

  • Responsiveness and quick

    Unlike other firms, we leverage technology, and make every effort to get high quality plans delivered in weeks – not months. Hey, who said construction has to be painful?

  • Ability to take on a project

    Our proprietary data system, Design Hub, allows us to efficiently forecast and optimize our resources. This means we can take on a project of any size at any time, while maintaining quality and schedule.

Start your project with us today!
Get a Free Quote