The City just made it easier to build accessory dwelling units. Here’s how

The City of Sacramento has made it even easier to build Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU), also known as granny-flats or in-law units, by creating free, permit-ready building plans.  

These permit-ready building plans are for detached ADUs. They meet all the 2022 Residential Building Code requirements and are all-electric. 

“The permit-ready plans are a helpful addition to streamline the process for customers and to produce more housing options in Sacramento,” said Garrett Norman, senior planner with the City. 

As part of an effort to increase building of ADUs, the City launched its new “ADU Resource Center” this past fall to provide property owners with information and step-by-step guides to aid in the ADU permitting and construction process.  

The new permit-ready ADU plans can make it easier to build ADUs because: 

  • The plans are under 750 square feet, which means they pay no impact fees. 
  • They are affordable by design with easy to find materials at your local hardware store. 
  • They have been approved by the building division and are following the 2022 California Building Code. 
  • Homeowners only need to prepare a site plan showing where the unit will be placed on the property.

The permit-ready plans offer all electric studio, one- or two-bedroom layout options.  

Having permit-ready plans means that a property owner can go straight to applying for permits as the plans are already pre-approved, Norman said. 

The ADU Resource Center is part of the City’s eight-year housing strategy to produce over 45,000 housing units of all types by 2029. 

This new website was funded with grant monies from the state Department of Housing and Community Development. 

The City has already taken significant steps to encourage housing construction, including waiving fees for affordable housing construction, expediting approvals for building accessory dwelling units and establishing incentives for construction of housing near transit corridors. 

Sacramento in 2022 became the first city in California to earn the state’s “Prohousing Designation” for housing-friendly policies. 

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