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Salinas ADU Requirements: Your Ultimate Guide to Build an ADU
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Salinas ADU Requirements: Your Ultimate Guide to Build an ADU

|May 28, 2024

An ADU is a smart way to increase your property value, utilize the space for rental purposes, and generate some income. Around the USA, most states allow the construction of a prefab ADU on your primary property. This shift towards more sustainable housing methods has made the real estate market flourish in the past few years.

Just like other parts of the country, ADU in Salinas has also become popular. Fortunately, the process of Salinas ADU is straightforward and easier to understand if you follow the City of Salinas ADU requirements and laws. In this article, you will find all the laws applicable to the city of Salinas ADU construction.

What is an ADU?

An ADU is a modern housing unit constructed to serve as an additional space. An ADU or accessory dwelling unit is only acceptable if your land already has a primary property used for residential purposes. Known by several names, such as a granny shed or work pod, an ADU serves many purposes. Whether you are planning a backyard office pod or a prefab ADU rental space, an ADU cannot be built without adhering to certain laws.

What is an ADU?

Salinas ADU Laws

For your Salinas ADU plans to be successful, there is a need to understand all the rules and regulations set by the state of Salinas. Being aware of State ADU laws helps generate sustainable and safer housing units. Below is a list of regulations set by the Salinas Housing Authority.

Allowed Locations

ADU requirements in California, just like most states of the country, restrict the allowed locations for secondary unit construction. These requirements state that for a property to be eligible for ADU, there should be a main primary unit built on it. The primary unit needs to be used for residential purposes only by the landowners or tenants. The primary unit can be a single-story, a duplex, or a triplex as well.

Allowed Locations

Types of ADU

ADUs can work in several different forms, and you always don’t need to build one from scratch. As per the new ADU Laws California 2024, you can construct either of the below-mentioned ADU types and use it as per the allowed guidelines.

Detached ADU

Detached ADUs are free-standing units that operate independently of the primary property. They have separate entrances/exits, washroom, and kitchen and offer private space for living. Detached ADUs are the only acceptable ADU types to be used for rental purposes.

Attached ADU

Just as the name suggests, these ADUs are additions made to a single-family house. They can share a wall or an entrance with the primary home. They are generally seen as an extension of the primary home and can be occupied by a family member or serve as a home office or gym.

Conversion ADUs

Conversion ADUs can be built whole or partially out of an ancillary building (such as a garage, shed, or studio) or as a portion of an existing single-family or multi-family home.

Junior ADUs

Junior ADUs (JADUs) are smaller in size and entail dividing a portion of the single-family house into a new unit of a maximum of 500 square feet, which might share a bathroom or a kitchen with the main house.

Types of ADU

Minimum Lot Size

The next question arises of how big an ADU can be in California. The size of an ADU is the same in Salinas and other states. This is because an ADU should qualify to meet the living standards and offer all the amenities like sanitation, kitchen, and bedroom. This accounts for a minimum of 650 square feet, whereas the maximum limit is 1200 square feet. Another factor that determines the size of an ADU is the type of ADU you are planning to construct.

Number of ADUs Allowed

If you have a big backyard, you must be planning to build more than one unit. Though the benefits of multiple ADUs are greater, the laws restrict the construction of more than two ADUs on a site. This is in case your primary property is a single-family unit. As for multi-family units, the number of ADUs will depend on the type of ADU you are planning to build.

Maximum Height and Setbacks

Apart from the laws for California ADU size limit for ground space, ADU laws also cover a minimum height and setback space from the main property. This setback space only works in case of a detached ADU and serves to keep the primary home private from the ADU. The minimum setback limit from the rear and sides of the primary property is no less than 4 feet. As for minimum height, the ceiling should be 16 feet tall to make it safe for the living standards. This is the minimum height for a one-story unit.

Maximum Height and Setbacks

Parking Requirements

An attached ADU, conversion, or Junior ADU doesn't require a separate parking space. However, a detached ADU will need one parking space in case a tenant occupies the secondary unit.

Rental Laws

Though most localities forbid short-term ADU rentals, you can rent out your ADU on a long term contract. This implies that you can probably only rent out your ADU minimum for a month or longer at a time. As for a Junior ADU, the laws state that it needs to be used by the primary owner of the property.

Rental Laws

How Much Do ADUs Cost?

The Cost of an ADU depends on several factors, such as size, type, amenities, and design of the ADU. Since ADUs are an environmentally sustainable method of expanding real estate, the government also facilitates the construction of ADUs. You can hire an ADU manufacturer who will help you run through the entire process and present the most cost-effective plan. Besides that, programs like California ADU grants also offer incentives for ADU construction in the form of loans and installment payment plans.

How Long Does It Take to Construct an ADU?

Depending on the type of ADU, the design, and the plan, the ADU construction time frame varies. The timeframe also depends on the fact that whether you are choosing a pre-built ADU or starting the ADU Construction on site.

How Long Does It Take to Construct an ADU?


The State of California is aware of how ADUs might contribute to the availability of affordable housing. ADUs offer a feasible way to meet the state's expanding need for residential space, especially in light of the state's congested urban areas and rising real estate costs. Salinas ADU laws are drafted simply to ensure that anyone with plenty of free space on their property can participate in this effective construction plan.

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