Accessory Dwelling Units


What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU)?

An attached or detached residential dwelling unit that provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence on a fixed, permanent foundation. All ADUs shall be constructed with independent access separate from the main residence entrance. All ADUs shall have a living/sleeping area, a full kitchen; washer/dryer in-unit or access to a shared laundry room area; and a bathroom that includes a shower and/or bathtub. 

What kind of ADUs are there?

There are two (2) types of ADUs - an ADU and a JADU. There are different ways to have an ADU on your property. ADUs can be achieved through new construction or a conversion of an existing garage, accessory structure, or portion of a dwelling unit. ADUs can be attached to or detached (free standing) from an existing single family or multi-family home. New ADUs have to adhere to all development standards of the Updated Chapter 11.43 of the City of South Gate's Zoning Code. When a portion of the existing single-family or multi-family home or an existing accessory structure is converted into an ADU, it is exempt from meeting certain development standards such as setbacks.

Image shows different types of ADUs: attached ADU, detached ADU, and converted garage.

What is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU)?

JADUs are similar to ADUs, but are even smaller living units and can only be created within the existing or a proposed main dwelling. A JADU cannot exceed a total of 500 square feet. The JADU must have a living/sleeping area, and at least an efficiency kitchen. A bathroom is not required, however if a bathroom is not provided, the JADU shall have a direct access into the existing main dwelling unit. All single-family residential lots can have one (1) JADU if there is only one (1) detached ADU or no ADU.

How to apply for an ADU/JADU?

An ADU/JADU requires a Building Permit which applicants will obtain by submitting for Plan Check. Plan Check begins with the Planning Division. After Planning approves your plans, the Building Division reviews construction plans. Upon receiving any other necessary departmental or agency approvals, the applicant will then be issued a Building Permit.


ADU updated standards.JPG

Planning Application

Click here(PDF, 460KB) for the Planning Application.

California ADU Handbook

For theCalifornia ADU Handbook click here.