The City of Alameda has developed an Accessory Dwelling Unit Clearance process which is an eligibility screening by the Planning Division to ensure compliance with Alameda’s ADU ordinance prior to filing a building permit application.

ADU Clearance Form


1. Applicant. The applicant for an ADU must be the current owner-occupant of the property.

2. Zoning. ADUs are allowed on properties zoned for single-family and multifamily residential.

3. PD overlay. Properties within a PD (Planned Development) zone may be limited to a Jr. ADU or an attached ADU in order to maintain conformity with the original neighborhood design.

4. Maximum number of units. ADUs are only allowed on properties currently containing one single-family dwelling.

5. Size limitation – Part 1. The total floor area of the ADU cannot be more than 50% of the floor area of the primary unit.

6. Size limitation – Part II. ADUs cannot be larger than 1,200 sf in total floor area.

7. Size limitation – Part III. Detached ADUs must be subordinate to the primary dwelling unit in terms of massing, height, and building footprint.

8. Unit Separation. A standard ADU is required to have a separate exterior entrance and no direct internal connection to the primary unit.

9. ADU Design Part 1. The ADU must incorporate the same materials, colors, and style of the primary dwelling including roof materials and pitch, eaves, windows, accents, distinctive features, and character defining elements….(more)