Do I Qualify?
There are three main factors that determine whether your property is eligible for an ADU in the City of Santa Cruz. If you don’t live in the City of Santa Cruz, contact us for a site evaluation.
1. Is the lot over 5,000 sf?
If you’re not sure about your lot size, call us with your address and we’ll find out for you, or look it up at the planning department.
If your lot is 5,000-7,499 square feet, you can build up to 500 square feet.
If your lot is 7,500-10,000 square feet, you can build up to 640 square feet.
If your lot is 10,001 square feet or larger, you can build up to 800 square feet.
2. Will the owner live on the property?
There are no exceptions to this rule. The owner must live in the main house OR the ADU.
3. Is the lot zoned single family residential?
The City of Santa Cruz code for single family residential is R-1.
Congratulations, if you answered YES to these three questions then your property is eligible for an ADU. However there are setback considerations and other factors that may restrict building an ADU.
Setbacks: The city requires minimum setbacks for side, front and rear. These differ depending on your lot size and will require review by the Planning Department.
Other conditions that can affect approval are: Heritage trees, unstable soil, a steep lot, close proximity to a waterway, land has archeological value, or house or property has historical value.
Note: If any of these conditions exist, it still may be possible to build an ADU. The site would need further study and an Administrative Use Permit may be required.
Call us, we’ll be glad to help determine if an ADU is feasible!