Burlingame Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Standards

        New laws were recently passed, and updates will be coming soon


Erika Lewit, Senior Planner

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ADU Ordinance

Zones allowed

All residential zones
Lot restrictions


Minimum lot size

6,000 sq ft

Min / Max ADU size

None / 640 sq ft

ADU building height
15 feet


Rear 30% of lot: none

Outside of rear 30% of lot: 3-7 feet (depending on lot width)

Parking requirements

One space is required unless state exemptions are met (ADU is within 1⁄2 mile of transit, in existing structures, in historic districts, within one block of car share locations, or in an area with residential parking permit rules that do not allow second units to get a permit). Parking is allowed in setbacks, but only in the front setback if in a driveway. Tandem parking is permitted.

Owner occupancy

Owner must live in the main dwelling or the ADU

Sample fees from recently built projects*
ADU 1 (361 sq ft, detached): $7.975
ADU 2 (589 sq ft, detached): $7,569
Other requirements
  • If ADU located more than 150 feet from a right-of-way, fire apparatus access is required. Sprinklers are required in instances where the main dwelling is required to have sprinklers.
  • The ADU must incorporate the same or similar architectural features, building materials, landscaping and colors as the primary dwelling, so that the appearance of the site remains that of a single-family residence.
  • Separate electrical and water meters may be requested by the property owner, but are not required by the City. Sewer must connect to the lateral for the main dwelling.
  • One tree must be added per 1,000 SF of floor area on the site, including ADU and main dwelling and any other accessory structures.
  • A tree removal permit is required for removal of some trees.
  • Deed of restriction must be recorded with the County to require that the property owner live on site in the ADU or in the main dwelling
  • Only one ADU per property is allowed.
  • ADUs may not be located in front of the maining dwelling.

Staff-level administrative review of design for consistency with ADU regulations is required. Staff will provide general direction to ensure architecture is compatible with the primary dwelling. Making an appointment to meet with a planner in the initial stages of the project can help avoid challenges and is highly recommended.



Disclaimer: standards and process may vary. Consultation with the contact is recommended before starting any project.

*Fees are specific to each project and will vary. Fees change regularly. These are provided as examples only.

Download ADU Standards PDF

Updated: 12/11/2017