Addition of Dwelling Units per Ordinance 162-16

ADU Program available Citywide

Picture of house on top of construction plans

As of September 2016, Ordinance No.  162-16 allows construction of accessory dwelling units (ADU) Citywide in areas that allow residential use. With this program it reduces some Planning

FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE:

Department of Building Inspection
ADU Program
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor - Window #8
San Francisco CA 94103
(415) 558-6117
Email: softstory@sfgov.org

Planning Information Counter
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor

San Francisco CA 94103
(415) 558-6377
Email: pic@sfgov.org

 

FORMS

Code requirements to make it possible for property owners to add ADUs.

WHAT IS AN ACCESSORY DWELLING UNIT (ADU)?

An ADU is a residential unit that is added to an existing residential building. ADUs are commonly known by names such as ‘in law units,’ ‘secondary units,’ or ‘granny flats.’

HOW MANY UNITS CAN I ADD?

Existing Units Number of New ADUs Allowed
4 or less 1 ADU Allowed
5 or more No Limit*
*As long as it fits within building envelope and meets Planning and Building Code requirements.

FOR BUILDINGS UNDERGOING SEISMIC RETROFIT

Buildings undergoing mandatory seismic retrofit per SFBC Ch 34B (SFEBC Ch 4D) or voluntary seismic retrofit per AB-094, may raise building up to 3 feet to create ground-floor ceiling height and shall maintain eligibility for subdivision or condo conversion.

Note: Seismic retrofit and ADU must be separate permits and separate sets of plans.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

  1.  ADUs may not be constructed on properties zoned RH-1(D) (single-family detached dwelling). ADUs may be permitted in the RH-1(D) district pursuant to State law, not Program defined herein.
  2. Buildings that have pursued no-fault evictions with Rent Board must wait 5 or 10 years before applying to construct an ADU.
  3. ADUs must be constructed within the existing building envelope. Expansions are permitted in limited circumstances.
  4. ADUs cannot take space from an existing residential unit.
  5. ADUs cannot be merge with an original unit(s).
  6. ADUs shall not be permitted in Neighbor Commercial District or in the Chinatown Community Business or Visitor Retail Districts if it eliminate or reduce a ground-story or commercial space.
  7. ADUs shall not be used for short-term residential rental.
  8. ADUs cannot pursue subdivision or condo conversion, except buildings that was a condominium building for 3 years prior to July 11, 2016, or undergoing seismic retrofit.
  9. If the existing building is rent controlled, and Planning Code waivers are granted, the new unit will also be rent controlled.
  10. ADUs can get waivers from certain Planning Code regulations such as rear yard, parking, open space, density, and partial exposure (reduction of open area to 15’ by 15’) from the Zoning Administrator.

 

STEPS TO APPLY FOR THE ADU PROGRAM

1. Submit a Screening Form at 1660 Mission St, 1st Floor, Window #8

2. File a building permit with Screening Form attached and two sets of plans. Write “Addition of dwelling units per Ordinance No. 162-16” for the description of work on the building permit application.

Note: Seismic retrofit and ADU must be separate permits and separate sets of plans.

 

HELPFUL LINKS