Fremont ADU / Granny Flat Ordinance

ORDINANCE l”- O. 01-2017





SECTION i. FMC § i8.i90.005 ADDED

Fremont Municipai C’ode Section j 8. i90.005 is added to read as folJo\.vs:

Sec. 18.190.005 .l\ccesso-1 d’velling units.

Accessory Dweiling lJ ni Ls (ADlJs) shaii be aUowe<l in: any R-1 (single-fan1iiy resi<lentiai) district, those portions of planned districts allowing single-family dwellings; single-family dv·1ellings located \Vitliin an F..-2 (tv·10-fa.1.. 11ily and duplex residential) district, certain smaller lots vviti11in R-3 (multi-fa1nily residential) and R-G (garden residential) districts, and the General, Hill, I Iill Face a_nd Hillside Ope11Space Districts wl1ere111a si11gle-fai11ily reside11ce 11as bee11 authorized. Ail A DUs shai1 he suhjeci to ihc provisions of ihis section. ln the event of a conflict betv·1een the provisions of this section and another section of the 1-<‘rcmont Municipal Code, t.‘1.e provisio11s of this section shall prevail.

  1. Unit ·r:,.rpcs . ..t\.n .A. ...ccessory D\’.velling U nit (.A. ...DLJ ) shall mean an_ attached or detached residential d\velling that is subordinate to a pri ncipal residence on the same lot, a.. d that pro\.·ides co111plete ii1depe11de11t livi11g facilities for 011e or i11ore persca1s. ADUs include permanent. provision_s for liv_in_g; sleeping; eating:: cooki ng, and sanitation on the same parce! as the principal residence. ·rherc arc t\vo categories of i\DUs, distinguished by the size and location of the _;A}._DU and the extent to vvIi ich the J.A}._DU results in a net increase in hab1tab1c floor s11acc on the property. ‘l’hese categories are defined as follows:
    1. Standard ADUs (SADU) may be aLLache<l to Ll1e pnnc1pal residence or rnay be a detached structure and inciude A1JT Js that meet any of the foiioring criteria when constriJcted:

(l\) /.A}._ net increase in habitable floor space on a property; or

      1. A floor area exceeding 500 square feet; or
      1. Created within the footprint of an existing primary residence without incorporating an existing hedroom.
    1. Junior ADUs (JADU) include ADUs that meet all of the following criteria when constructed:

(A) No net increase in habitable floor space on a property; and

(D) A floor area of 500 square feet or less; and

  1. Co11tai11ed e11tire]y ¥.‘ithin the existir1g walls of ar1 existing pri11cipal residence; and
  1. Created at least in part through the conversion of an exisLing bedroom.

Section 18.190.00S(b) includes standards applicable to all J\ f)iJs; Section i8_ i90.005(c) includes regulations applicable to Sta11dard i\_._DlJs only a.1.1d Section 18.190.00S(d) includes regulations applicable to Juriior rA:i..DUs only·.

  1. Rcgulatio.ns Applicable to All Accessory Dwelling Units (AD1Js)
    1. Permitting Procedure. Any application for an ADU that meets Lhe applicable lucatio11 and development standards contained in Section 18.190.005 shall be subject to ministerial revie\\’ and approval \Vithout discretionary revie\v or public hearing. \Vhere design review, req uirements are applicable, a !v1iriistcrial Design Rcvicvv Permit shaH

be required. All permits shall be issued within 120 days of st1lJ.i:tlissio11of a co111plete

application for i\.[J1 Ts coriforming to the provisions of sec.lion.

    1. Building Permit P...cquircd. No ..t\.DLI shall be established or maintained until there has been a building permi t approved by the city. The application fOr the permit shall i11clude:
  1. Site plan indicati ng the location of the principai residence, the location and type of

the proposed A.fJlJ and parking (for those J\ IJLjs where parking is required);

  1. Floor plans of the principal residence a1.1d proposed i\JJ Ll ;
  1. Elcv’ations of all sides of the principal residence and “‘Ai.DU;
  1. A topograpl1ic survey and grading plan may be required for uriits that expand the habitable floor area on the property.
    1. Applicabiiity of Fees.

(.AL) ‘!‘he City may charge a fee covering the costs associated with the issuance of the design re,rie\v permit, building permits, and related inspections to determine whether the ADU is ir1compliance \\rith applicable building standards and the provisions of Section 18.190.005.

(B) This ordinance shall not be construed to prohibit the City from adopting an ordinance or regulation relating to services or utility connection fees that applies to a single-family residence that contains an ADU so long as that ordinance or regulation applies uniformly to all single-family residences regardless of whether they include an ADU.

    1. Locational Criteria

(A) In no case sl1all the total i1u111ber of dwelli11g u11its exceed two (i.c, principal residence and ADU) on any R-1 (single family residential), R-2 (two-family and ih1rniex res.iiient1::ii/t; or ()S (.._()nre:n S·- nr a e:/1 lo t w ·herein a nr rinc inr a··i s.inoni e famii.v; residence has been authorized.

  1. An ADU shall not be allovvcd on a lot greater than 7,500 square feet located in the R-G district or 011a lot greater tl1m16000 square feet located in the R-3 district. The purpose of this iimitation ls to encourage the use of such sites for m ui ti­ fami!y housi ng, rather than !o’.v densit;r single- family homes. C)11lots of lesser size, a maximun1 of one ADlJ is permitted in conju11ction \lith a principal reside11ce.
  1. An ADU shall not be allowed on constrained land as identified in Sections

18.55.050 and l 8.i30.030.

  1. A...D1Js are not required to meet the density requirements of the General Plan or zoning ordinance and do not count toV\rard the permissible number of units per acre (or required loL area per Jwel1lng). However, AD1Js sl1all otl1erwise be consistent V\’ith the General Plan text and diagran1s as provided in (a1ifornia Go\’erni.nent Code Section 65852.2.
  1. An ADU shall be located only- vvithin the area of the lot allovved for the principal

residence as establisl1cd by its zorii11g district, except as provided in Section


  1. i\n _AJ)lJ may be attached to the principal residence (i.e., created tll rou gh conversion of existing floor area or addition of nc\v floor area to principal residence) or detached.
  1. An lillU s11all riot be cou11ted i11 ai1y ordi11a11ce, po11cy, lJf progra111to li111it growil1

(the number of residentia l lln.i t.s pennirted in a year, etc.)

    1. ()cc11pancy Criteria.

(i\)i...n Lil.._DU may be occupied as a separate single-family d\x,re!ling on!)’ if t.lie legal owner of the J ot occupies one of the dvvcllings located on the lot; other\vise, the 1\DU arid tl1e pri11ci1Jal resident::e sha11 1Je occupied as if they were one single­ famiiy dweiiing. Owner occupancy shall not be required if the owner is another goverr1mcntal agency, land tn. .ist, or housing organization_

  1. The rental of ADUs for terms shorter than 30 days shall be prohibited.
  1. Nothing in this section prohibits the ADU or principal residence on lhe lot from remaining vacant.
    1. Size. llnder no circumstance may an ADU exceed 1,200 square feet or 50 percent of the existing living area of the principal residence on the property. Size may be further limited by subsections (c) and (d) below, including Table 18.190.005(c)(1).
    2. Design.
  1. An ADU shall incorporate architectural features, building materials and colors that are compatible with the principai residence.
  1. Outside stair’.va;rs to th.e l\...DU shall not be in the front of the principal residence.
    1. Building Safety
  1. A smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector shall he installed in all ADlJs.
  1. 1.Jo fire sprinklers sl1all be rcy_ uired fur the AD1J, unless the associated improvements meet the threshold for a “suhstantiai ren1odei” as defined by the Fremont Fire (ode, or are associated \Vith a ne\.’ detached ./l,.DU on a property vvhere sprirJ<lcrs vvould othcrvvise be required for a ncVv’ single-family·home.
  1. Approval by tl1e local 11ealtl1officer 111ay be required w-l1ere a private sewage

disposal system is being used.

  1. Perma..11ent Foundation. /\ perma..rient foundation shall be required for all detached


(I-) ‘I’his section shall not be construed to prohibit the ( ity from adopting ai1ordinai1ce or regulatiu11relating lo fire or life protection req uiremenLs for ADUs so long as the ordinance or regulation applies uniformly to all single-family homes within

the zoning district regardless of v·1hether the single-f3.n1ily residence has an .. .DlJ

or not.

    1. Parking. The required i1arki11g for an ADlJ s11a11 confor:n1to the prov1s 1011s of Chapter

18.183 and Seciions 18.190.00S(c-d). Under no circumstance shall an ADU be

required to pro\ride more tha.1.1 one parking space per bedroom.

( l O)Listed !Iistoric Lots. 1J otv1itl1standing subsection (1) of this section, a.l.J. i,._DU may only he allowed on a lot that has been deemed eligible or is fonnally listed in the 1..iatio.nal Register of I Iistoric Places. tl1e Califor.nia Register of I Iistorical Resources or any adopted iocai iist of historic reso11rces if desi gn review perm it approval i s granted by the historical architectural rc\ricv·1board.

  1. Deed Restrictio11. jl,._ deed restriction, \Vhich shall rw1\Vith tl1e lm1d, sl1all be filed and recorded witi1i the Cou11ty of Alaiueda for each ADU prior to the issuance of a building permit and shall include the following:
    1. A prohibition on the sale of the ADU separate from the sale of the principal residence, including a statement that the deed restriction may be enforced against future purchasers.
    1. Occupancy restrictions and requirements, as specified in Section 18.190.00S(b)(5).
  1. A rest1ictio11011tl1c size a11d attributes of the ADU that conforn1s \.Vith Section


(c) R_egulations Applicable to Standard Accessory Dwelling CTnits (SA DT_T)

( 1) Location. i\.. Si\_..!)U may• only be permitted \Vhere only one principal residence exists on the lot. SAI)Us are not permitted in duplexes, triplexes, or other buildings vvith i11ore tl1ai1one principal residence.

  1. Floor Area. The total floor area ofihe SADU shall he no less than 150 square feet nor

more than the 1naximmn allowable area permitted based on the following table:

Table 18.190.005: l\’Iaxi1nur.11 Size of SADlJs


Parcel Size Maxim um Allowable 1‘ota1 Floor Area of lTnit Less than 5,000 squaic feet 500 square feet


8,000 to 9,999 square feet 800 square feet


i0,000 io 19,999 square feet 900 square feet


20,000 to 39,999 square feet 1,050 square feet


40,000 square feet or n1ore 1 ,200 sy_ uarc feet


  1. Building Height. /\. S/i.DU may not exceed the building height limitation app1icablc to the principal residence on the lot_
  1. Connection to Street. !J’o passagc\’.vay shall be required in conjunction ‘vith the construction of a SADlJ, unless such a connection is ma..1. 1dated bJ’ the Americans vvith Disabilities i\.ct or otl1er state or federal safety code or standard. A passagcw·ay is a path\.\•ay that i8 unoh8tn1cted and clear to the sky, that extends from the street to the

door of the Si\L) er.

  1. Separation. Except as noted in Section (6) be!o,1, detached S..A. ...DUs must be separated from other habitable structures on site by’ at least 10 feet. “l’he separation may be

red uced to eighL feel if one structure is equipped witl1fire spri11.k.lers or six feet if both

structures arc fire spri n k iered. Roof eave projeciions i11to this separation may be

limited by the building code.

  1. Garage Conversions. An existing garage may only be converted to a SADU if the property will meet all applicable parking standards upon completion of the SADU. Setback requirements shall not apply to an existing garage that is converted to an ADU, provided that any walls within setback areas comply with applicable buildi ng and fire codes. In the event an ADU is constructed above an existing or newly

constructed garage, a setback requirement of five feet from the side and rear property lines shall be required.

  1. Parking. One parking space per bedroom shall be required for a SADU, except as noted under SectJon 18.190.005(c)(7)(B) below.
    1. R eq11i red parki ng 1nay he provided ihrough any of ihe t011owing rneihods:
      1. Con'”entional garages or carports
      1. Uncovered paved areas such as an extended dri\.’e\.vay as provided in Section 18.183.180(a)(2)(C);

,,1.1.1.,1 1anuI en1parK1 1 ng 1 n an ex1 n,1 ng u1r1 veway; or

(iv) Parki ng on other locations on the property; unless specific findings are made that parking in setback areas is not teasible based upon life safety conditions. v1echm1ical lifts may be permitted vvhere consistent vvith design revieYv criteria.

    1. No onslreei parking shall be required for a SADU in any of the following instances:
      1. The S_,A”-DU is located \Vithin one-hal f mile of public transit. This shall include properties w·ithin one-half mile of a BART or other corr1111uter rail station, or bus stops on “major transit spines” as defined by Diagram 3-6 of the Fremont tTeneral Plan. In st1ch cases the one-half miic standard shali be based on the actual \Valking route betv·,reen the S.,A DU and the transit stop rather than on a straight line betw·een the tvv·o points;
      1. The SADU is located withir1 ar1 arcl1itecturally and l1istorically s1g11ificant b.istoric district; inch1di ng the iocaiiy designated ivii ssion San Jose and Bryant Street Conservation Districts, or 011a property that includes a register

resource or potential register resource;

      1. ‘l’hc S1A-,.DU is located entirely wTithin the existing principal residence or an existing habitable accessory structure a11d results ii1110 11et additio11of habitable floor area on the property;
      1. The SADU is located in an area where on-street parking permits are required, but are not offered to the occupants of the SADU;
      1. The SADU is located within one block of a designated parking area for one or more car-share vehicles available to the general public by subscription.
    1. When a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of a SADU, and replacement parking is required, the

replacemen L parking spaces may be provided as in Section 18.190.005(c)(7)(A)


  1. F‘ees. SA r1us resulting in a net increase in habitable floor area on a property may be subject to City impact fees that are proportionate to the burden of the proposed ADU Oi1City se1vices. Ilo\.\revei\ u11der 110 circui11sta11ce i11ay tl1e S1\.DU be COi1sidcrcd cquivaient to a new principai dwelling uni t for the purpose of fee calculation _

(d) J1Lnior _.1\ccessory Dwelling Llnits (J.l\fJUs)

The pu11-‘ose of the Junior Accessory Dv,,.clli11g Unit (JADU) regulatio11s is to in111le111ent s11ecific policies of the Housing Element of the Fremont General Plan, and specific provisions of state law authorizing the creation of Ji\I1Us. The intent of the Ji\I.1U regulations is to expa.1.1d the affordable rental housing stock t11rough the repur._posing of uT. Jderutilized floor area in existing singlc-fan1ily homes.

( l ) i\pplicability. Performance standards for J i\Ll LJ s sha!!app!y in a!! single-fa..rnlly (R- l ) residential zoning districts, on lots \Vit11in those portions of plaruTJed districts allo\ving single-ffuuil:y dw·ellings, and on qualifying R-2, R-3, R-G and 0-S lots developed vvith oniy one principai single-fami iy dwelling.

  1. [)cvclopment Standards.

(.l\.) 1J’ umbcr Per Lot. Onl)’ one Ji.l..DlJ is permitted on a single-tan1ily residential lot.

A JADU is not permitted if ru1other ADU already exists on the property.

(B) Locatio11. Tl1e JADU sl1all be co11structed e11tirely \vit11i11t11e existi11g walls of m1

existing single-family home and must incorporate an existing bedroom.

(C:‘.) Size. l he JA:C>lJ shall not exceed 500 square feet in size.

  1. Unit ..A...ccess. The J A...DU shall include an exterior entran.ce that is separate from the main entrance to the singlc-fruuil)’ home. ‘l’hc exterior entry shall not be located 011tl1e fro11t of tl1e pr111c1pal reside11ce. If tl1e exterior e11try 1s 011tl1e second floor, the stairway shaii not be iocated in the from of the principal residence. !nterior access bet\veen the JA_lJ U a.D. .d the principal residence is required, and can be a door equipped \Vith a double lock. ._A,,. second interior doorw·ay may be prov·idcd for sound attenuation.
  1. Sanitation. A JADU may include a bathroom, or may share bathroom facilities within the principal residence_
  1. K itchen. The JADU shall include an efficiency kitchen, which shall include all of the following:
    1. A sink with a maximum waste line diameter of 1.5 inches.

(ii) A cooking facility with appliances that do not require electrical service greater than 120 voits and that do not use propane gas_

(iii).A& fi)od preparation counter no less than six feet in length and storage cabinets that are of reasonable size in relation to the size of t.he JADU. ‘l’he food preparatioi1area i11ay i1ot be located ii1a closet.

  1. Parking. No additional off-street parking shall be required beyond ihat required for the principal residence. T’he principal residence shall meet tJ1e current off-street parking sta.. dard in effect at the time the J-<‘.A:i..DU is appro\’ed.

(4) Building and f ire Code Requirements. I•or the pwposcs of any fire or life protection ordinance or regulation, a J/\.Dlj shall not be considered a separate dwelling unit. i’-io fire wall separation or noise attenuation measures are required between the principal residence and the Jii:i..DU.

IJLV .l .l\Jl ‘II L. Frv1C § 18.25.040 i\.DDED

Fren1or1t v111nicipal Code Section 18.25.040 is added to read as follows:

Sec. l8.25.040 .Accessory dweiiin_g u.nit (_A_DiJ).

”Accessory dvvelling unit” shall mean an attached or detached residential dvvelling unit v0vhich provides co111plete i11depende11t livi11g facilitit:8 for or1e or i11ore lJersons. It shall irlclude pernlanent prov·isions for }i\ring, sleeping, eating cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as the principal residence. i\s pro,rided in California Goverri rnent Code Section 65852.2, efficiency apartments and manufactured homes may be developed and occupied as accessor;dvvelling units consiste11t witl1tl1is title. 011ly i11m1ufactured or i11obile horoes constructed aller .Tu1y 1 , 1976,

and placed pursuant to Section l 8.l 90.350(g) are permitted. ADUs are subject to development standards that are specifled in Section l 8.l 9U.OU5 o:t t..11s title. Sec also Junior Accessory Dvv’e11ing Unit and Standard fA..ccessory DvJe11ing lJniL

SFC:TTON 1 . FMC: § 18.25.950 AMFNDFD

Fremont Municipai (-=ode Section i8.25.950 is amended to read as follows: Sec. 18.25.950 Dwelling, seconda!) .

See /\ccessory D\ve11ing lJnit Sectio11 18.25.040

SECTION 4. FMC § 1 8.25. 1 825 ADDED

Fremont Municipal Code Section 18.25.1825 is added to read as follows: Sec. 18.25.1825 Junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU).

“Junior accessory dwelling unit” (JADU). A JADU shall mean an ADU that is no more than 500 square feet in size, is contained entirel y within an existing single-family structure, and is created

al 1easl in parl through lhe conversion of ar1r.;x1st111g bcdroo111. JADUs are subject to develop111e11t

standard s that are specified in Section iX. i90.00′.S(h) A nd (d) of thi titie_ SECTIOl” 5. Flv1C §18.25.2675 ADDED

t,rc111011t tv1w1icipal Code Sectio11 18.25.2675 is added to read as follow·s:

Sec. i li.25.2675 Standard accessory dweiiing unit (SADU).

“Standard accessory’ d;.velling u.-.–iit” (SADU) shall mean an ./\.DU that meets ai y of the follo\v:ing criteria: (a) it results i11 a i1et increase in 11abitable floor area on a property (b) it is larger than

:i,u..,_ u,..,_ square r,.e. et. ; orlc)‘- n 1 s crear ea wn .n; m

m.1 e r,,nm pnm or an ex1 su ng nousc wn nI om m

corporau ng

an existing bedroom. A Sfo DlT may be attached to the pr1nc1pai residence or may be a detached structure. Si\.DUs are subject to development standards that are specified in Section 18.190.00S(b) m1d ( c) of this title.

SPCTION 6. FMC § 1 8.55. !!0 AMENDED

Fremont ri..1unicipal Code Section 18.55.1 10 ls amended to read as follo\vs: Sec. 18.55.110 Allow·ed. land uses and permit req uirements.

[l’exl preceding tuble remains unchanged]

T<i ble 18.55.110

Allowed Land t:ses and Permit Requirements ·within Open Sparr Zoning l)istrict


r ri::r111nti::u usi:: Z Zoning Adn1inistrator .Pcnnit

C Co!!dition!ll Usf’ Permit Required A Aecessory Ilse

— lise Not Allowed


Hill IIiii I Hill11ide I Resource

Specific Use Rcguiations

L.and i:lse Cit}· Generai

(beyond I (Measure ‘”‘-‘··-·-2 1 ,…._ _ _ _ _

,,_ _

Face I .- lll’HU: I L””””‘ …..

Ridgdine) I A) I I Public

IResidential junior accessory d;.velling 1

I1 A-

I II /\

I1 · I1 ·


luntt I


IRcsidcn.tit standard acccssorv

I I .-. 5

I1 .i3 I1 A I A 1



I dwellmg urnt



I”‘ I 1



Tcrn1 is defined in Chapter 18.25.

2 Usi:::s n1ay be allowed unless precluded by open spa(e eB::;en1enb or other restrictions.

3 Permitted ‘.Vhere hemes exist en land acquired fer park purposes.

4 ()nlv \Vhcn the use is limited to meetine: the needs created bv uses nennitted above the toe of the hiir iine, uniess the city counil reasonably finds more extensivepublic need cannot Practicbly be 1net beloVv· the toe of the hill1 line; provided, Lhat this exception for more extensive public need shat! not apply to waste treatment and disposal or cormnercial electrical po\ver generating facilities.

5 A ministerial design revie\v permit may be required.

[Place rows within the table in alphabetical order, table is otherwise unchanged]

SECTION 7. FMC § 18.90.050 A!ViENDED

Fremont l\1unicipal Code Section 18.90.050 is arnended to read as follo\vs:

Sec. i8.90.050 Additionai deveiopment standards and design gnideiines appiicabie to

R-3 districts

    1. ‘ubsections (a) (.h) remain unchanged]

\‘) Requirements for Singlef &T. i.ily and ‘l\vo-.FamilJ’ Dvvcllings vvithin R-3 Districts.

      1. Single-fainily structures ai d accessory dwelling units n1ay utilize R-1 -6 side yard standards and duplex structures may utili ze R-2 side yard standards but in all other respects development shall conform to {-J district sta.1. 1.dards.

(2) .,A...dditions to existing singlc-fa.. ..ily and r-.vo-fa..i-nily d\vellings on R-3 lots 6,000 square feet or greater may he allov./ed, subject to a zoning adn1inistrator permit, \\then the zun111g adm1mslrator car11in<l tl1at the city” s interest in promoting an increase in the number of dwelling lJnits in the district is 011tweighed by the city’s Lntcrcst in promoting the improvement or prescr.ration of the existing d\velling(s).

Fi\1C § 18.90.070 Av1E1′-DED

Fre111ont rv1u11ici11a1 Code Section 18.90.070 1s an1e11ded to read a r..,11ows:

Sec. 18.90.070 Additionai deveiopment standards appiicabie to R-G districts.

[Subsection (a) remliins unchange(l]

(b) Single-±a.l.llily structures a._lld accessory di.velling units may utilize F..-1-6 side yard standards and duplex structures ma)’ utilize R-2 side yard stan.dards but in all oth_cr respects dcvc]oprnent shall confonn to R-G district standards.

[Subsection (c) and table j 8.90.070 remain unchanged]

SECTION 9. FMC § 18 90 080 AMENDED

1-<‘remon! v1unicipal Code Section 18.90.080 is amended to read as follows: Sec. 18.90.080 Uses vithin residential districts.

[Text preceding table remains unchanged]