How to Legalize Your ADU  

Step 1:Contact Us
Step 2:Site Visit - Optional
Step 3: Plan Submittal and Fees
Step 4: Inspections

 

  1. Contact Us

    Have questions about legalizing your unit? Email Nancy Concepcion or call Nancy at (831)420-5112 to review your property, the legalization process, general fees and typical timeframe. A meeting can be scheduled to review any documentation you have. It is recommended that you obtain a copy of the Residential Building Records at the County Assessor’s office at 701 Ocean Street prior to the meeting.

  2. Site Visit - Optional

    This is optional. A Special Inspection conducted by a City Building Inspector and Planner will meet with you and your design professional to examine your unpermitted dwelling unit. A fee (less than $300) will need to be paid at the building counter prior to the inspection. Your design professional should be prepared to take notes and ask questions. This step is intended to allow you to make an informed decision as to the feasibility of the project.

  3. Plan Submittal and Fees

    At this point in the process seven (7) sets of plans and other required documents will then be submitted at the building counter. If the unit is to be removed, three (3) sets of demolition plans are required. These plans are due within 90 days (60 days if demolition) of the decision.

  4. Inspections

    Once your building permit has been issued, at the initial inspection (generally within 14 days) your design professional /licensed contractor and the City Building Inspector will determine the inspection process. Features of your unpermitted ADU may be required to be exposed for verification of installation and design per minimum code standards “destructive analysis” (– see handout Inspection Procedures – Exposing Concealed Construction).

 

         legalization

 

How Recent Changes in the ADU Ordinance Make Legalization Possible

Recent changes in our ADU Ordinance (24.16.100), addressed items that prevented people from legalizing their ADUs. Reduced costs, and changes to things like parking requirements, setbacks, building heights, lot size, and whether the ADU was owner-occupied or not made legalization impossible for some. The Understanding 2014, 2015, and 2017 Changes to ADU Ordinance  document summarizes these changes that turn keeping an ADU a reality.

 

Obtaining Copies of Your Records

In preparation for meeting with us about your ADU, there are two places you can obtain records about your property.

  • County of Santa Cruz Assessor: Residential Building records that describes the buildings on your property. You can submit your request to the County using the Authorization to Access Confidential Files form
  • City of Santa Cruz Planning & Community Development: Permit history information. Submit your request for information online using our Public Information Request form. 

 

General questions and information about ADUs: 

Have questions about legalizing your ADU or if your ADU is legal?

 

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