Building an ADU Checklist
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Download and print out this Building an ADU Checklist to manage your process.

Additional ADU Resources

Below is a set of resources for you to browse as you consider this program and begin to better understand how to build an ADU in Los Angeles. 



City Resources


These are mostly applicable to contractors, but may be helpful resources for homeowners before or during the ADU build process. 

DCP Memo on Implementation of State ADU regulations

DBS Homeowners Guide to Permit and Inspection Process 

City of LA ADU Ordinance Background and FAQs
(updated January 2017)

Department of City Planning ADU Recommendation Report
(July 2018)


LADWP ADU Overview



Toolkits & Guides

These are our favorite resources for homeowners – check them out! 

Plus1House Accessory Dwelling Unit Resource Center

UCLA CityLab ADU Guidebook

Second Unit Workbook: A Tool for Homeowners



Documents + Applications


There are many forms that you will be required to complete during the course of building an ADU.  Below are the key forms and documents to get you started. The Los Angeles Department of City Planning and Department of Building and Safety can offer you additional details. 

LADBS Building Permit Application

LADBS ADU Correction Sheet

DCP ADU Memo and Checklist (as of 2018; a new City memo will be issued to reflect changes in state law effective 2020)

For ADUs that require DCP sign off for an overlay or other unique condition, you can find all Department of City Planning applications and forms located here and review the application process here.


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There are 38 departments in the City of Los Angeles. Each department serves a different function – from providing water and power to your home to addressing sanitation and safety requirements – many of which will play a role in your ADU development. For your ease, here’s a list of the most commonly consulted departments below.

Department of Building & Safety (LADBS)

The Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) will help you through the permit process and provide you with valuable information on codes and ordinances, construction practices, and property data.

Department of Water & Power (LADWP)

LA Department of Water and Power (LADWP) approval will be required if the existing structure is located in a Public Utility Easement or within 10 feet of a Public Utility Easement. Additional information may be found at the following link: LADWP Encroachment Process.

Department of Public Works (DPW)

The LA Department of Public Works (DPW) will need to complete the following: address approval--verification of the correct property address, based on the legal description of the property; driveway approval, which is required for curb cuts if planning to install new driveways into the public street; and sewer availability--any new public sewer connections must be approved. If your property is currently on the private sewage disposal system (septic tank system), you may be required to connect to the public sewer.

Bureau of Engineering (BOE)

Curb cuts, sewer connection, address approval,and/or site drainage.

Bureau of Street Services (BSS), Urban Forestry Division (UFD)

Removal of trees in the parkway and/or onsite trees.

Bureau of Sanitation (SAN)

Low Impact Development and Storm Water Pollution Mitigation.

Department of City Planning (DCP)

Generally, the Department of City Planning (DCP) does not play a role in the ADU permitting process. However, ADUs that are located in a planning overlay (such as a Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, Specific Plan, Community Plan Implementation Overlay, or Community Design Overlay) may require ministerial review by DCP, depending on the threshold for project review in each overlay district. In this case, DCP will receive the proposed ADU to ensure it complies with standards required by the overlay. In addition, DCP reviews any requests to deviate from zoning standards.