The Status of the City’s ADU Ordinance 

In 2017, California passed a statewide law to clarify ADU rules and stimulate the development of ADUs. This law allowed for cities to adopt their own ordinances and fine tune certain parts of the State law. The City of Los Angeles has deferred entirely to the State law since January 1, 2017. However, the LA City Council is expected to adopt an updated ordinance in 2019 or 2020. That ordinance (CF 16-1468) is pending and would add some additional restrictions. It is recommended that anyone considering building an ADU follow the progress of this ordinance and ask LADBS and their council office for more information.

Illustration of a house in LA

Where you can Build an ADU

Generally, ADUs can be developed on any site that is zoned for residential use and contains an existing or proposed single-family home. 

However, you may not build an ADU on your lot if: Your proposed ADU is on a lot that is located in both a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone (designated by the City of Los Angeles Fire Department) and a Hillside Area.

Some exceptions may apply. Contact LADBS to confirm whether your lot is eligible. 



Universal Regulations at a Glance

  • An ADU may be used as a long-term rental.

  • No additional parking is required if you are within a ½ mile radius of public transit or within one block of a car share parking space (e.g. ZipCar), unless you are converting an existing structure like a garage.

  • ADUs may only be sold in conjunction with the primary home.