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Garden Grove ADU Requirements & Regulations
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Garden Grove ADU Requirements & Regulations

|May 13, 2024

Are you considering expanding your living space or seeking additional rental income? An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU meaning) might be the perfect solution. This guide will delve into the Garden Grove ADU requirements, outline the city's regulations, discuss the permit costs, and explore the rules to keep in mind when planning your prefab ADU project.

Understanding ADUs in Garden Grove

An accessory dwelling unit, also known as a granny flat, in-law unit, or backyard cottage, is a secondary housing unit that is situated on a residential lot that is intended for a single family. A variety of ADU configurations, including detached, attached, conversion, and junior ADUs (JADUs), are available in Garden Grove. These configurations are designed to accommodate a wide range of requirements and property layouts.

Garden Grove ADU Requirements

Zoning: Any residential zone that permits single-family uses may accommodate an ADU, provided it meets local development criteria outlined in Chapter 9.54 of Title 9 of the Garden Grove Municipal Code.

Lot Size: There are no minimum lot size requirements for ADUs in Garden Grove, making it accessible for many homeowners.

California ADU size limits:

  • Detached ADUs can be up to 1,200 square feet for two or more bedrooms or 850 square feet for a studio or one-bedroom unit.
  • Attached ADUs are limited to 50% of the living area of the existing residence.

Garden Grove ADU Requirements

Regulations and Placement

Setbacks: ADUs must maintain a 4-foot setback from the side and rear property lines. Front setback requirements are determined based on the primary residence's location.

Height: The maximum height allowed is 16 feet, accommodating a single-story structure.

Parking: One parking space is required per ADU unless it is located within half a mile of public transit, in which case no parking is required.

Regulations and Placement

Permit Process and Costs

Navigating the permit process in Garden Grove involves understanding the associated costs, which vary based on the project's specifics. The Garden Grove ADU permit cost includes planning, construction, and potential utility fees. Homeowners are encouraged to contact the city's planning department for a detailed breakdown of expenses.

Permit Process and Costs

Utility and Additional Requirements

Utilities: Separate connections for utilities like water, gas, and electricity may be needed. Each ADU will generally have its address.

Fire Safety: ADUs require fire sprinklers if the primary residence is also equipped with them.

Open Space: For ADUs larger than 800 square feet, compliance with lot coverage and open space regulations is mandatory.

Utility and Additional Requirements

Benefits of Building an ADU

Rental Income: ADUs provide a significant opportunity for rental income, which can be substantial depending on the ADU's amenities and the local rental market.

Increased Property Value: Typically, the value of your property could increase significantly with the addition of an ADU.

Flexible Living Arrangements: ADUs are perfect for housing family members or caregivers, offering privacy and independence close to the main home.

Benefits of Building an ADU

Local Resources and Assistance

 The City of Garden Grove offers resources to homeowners in order to assist them. The ADU guidelines that are available on the official website of the City of Garden Grove are an extremely helpful resource for individuals who are considering the construction of an ADU.


1. What is the meaning of ADU?

The abbreviation "ADU" describes a smaller dwelling that is attached to a main home and occupies a portion of the same property. One advantage of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) is the flexibility they provide in terms of location relative to the main house.

2. What are backyard office pods?

Backyard office pods are compact, standalone structures often used as home offices. These can qualify as ADUs if they include living essentials such as a bathroom and a kitchenette, transforming them into fully functional living spaces.

3. What is a tiny backyard home?

A backyard tiny home is a type of detached ADU that maximizes small living spaces, typically ranging from 100 to 400 square feet. These homes are designed to utilize every inch of space efficiently, providing complete living facilities in a compact footprint.

workpod for designer

4. Are there California ADU grants available?

Yes, California offers various grants and programs to assist homeowners in building ADUs. These grants are designed to ease the financial burden, promote affordable housing, and support sustainable development across cities, including Garden Grove. Read California ADU grants for more info.

5. How big can an ADU be in California?

The maximum size of a detached ADU can be up to 1,200 square feet. For attached ADUs, the size limit is usually 50% of the existing living area of the primary residence. Specific size regulations canaffect how big can an ADU be in California, varying by city, reflecting local zoning laws.

6. What are the new ADU laws in California 2024?

Starting in 2024, California is implementing new laws to further simplify the ADU construction process. These changes include reducing certain zoning restrictions, streamlining approval processes, and potentially adjusting development fees to encourage more homeowners to consider ADU projects. Read up on new ADU laws in California 2024 to stay up to date on these laws.

7. What are the general ADU requirements in California?

ADU requirements in California mandate that ADUs comply with state building standards, local zoning regulations, and safety codes. These include but are not limited to setback requirements, parking provisions, and utility access. Each city, including Garden Grove, may have additional specific requirements based on local planning goals.

What are the general ADU requirements in California?


Building an ADU in Garden Grove can be a rewarding investment, providing both financial benefits and flexible living solutions. By adhering to the Garden Grove ADU rules and understanding the Garden Grove ADU requirements, homeowners can navigate the process effectively, ensuring that their new addition is both compliant and beneficial.

For more information or to start your ADU project, visit the City of Garden Grove's official website or consult with a local ADU specialist to explore your options. Whether you aim to enhance your living space or tap into the rental market, an ADU in Garden Grove is a strategic move toward sustainable and lucrative homeownership.

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