Accessory Dwelling Units (Planning Permit)


Accessory dwelling units provide additional housing within existing neighborhoods. If you create accessory dwelling units, you can benefit from added income and an increased sense of security.

An ADU is an attached or a detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more people. It includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation on the same parcel as a primary unit.

There are 2 types of accessory dwelling unit permits, depending on the size and nature of the project.

Accessory dwelling unit (ADU)

This ministerial permit type applies to projects up to 1200 square feet.

Junior Accessory dwelling unit (JADU)

This ministerial permit type applies to ADU projects that are 500 square feet or less in size and a conversion of existing space. This permit type does not apply to conversion of a detached accessory structure to an ADU.

What’s allowed

We allow properties with a single-family residence to have an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), as long as it meets the regulations outlined in City Code division 17.38.

We allow and many properties have second kitchens, pool houses with a full bathroom and kitchenette, guest cottages, in-law units and the like. These function as part of a single-family dwelling unit and would be defined as an Unintended Accessory Dwelling Unit unless the designated area had been issued an Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit.

An Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit allows an accessory dwelling unit to be used and occupied as a dwelling unit independent of the primary unit. In essence it is a use permit.


An application for an Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit that meets all the development standards provided in City Code section 17.38.060 is processed ministerially. This means it’s reviewed by planning staff with no public notice or public hearing.

How to apply

The City of Piedmont has a new online permitting system called eTRAKiT. You can now apply for and track your accessory dwelling unit permit online. Paper and email applications for planning permits are no longer accepted.

  • If your project is just an ADU, the approval process is ministerial. This means it can be approved by City staff and it doesn’t require a public hearing or neighbor notification.
  • If your ADU project is part of a larger project, such as an addition or expansion, you will need design review. This approval process is discretionary, which means a public hearing may be required.
  • New structures and modifications to existing structures require a building permit.

Application documents

When you apply online, you will need to upload documents based on the application type. Review these resources to learn about the documents you’ll need to prepare:

ADU documents

JADU Documents

Apply for an accessory dwelling unit planning permit


Get help