Accessory Dwelling Units

Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is an attached or detached structure that provides independent living facilities for one or more persons and includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation on the same parcel as a single-family dwelling unit. ADUs are sometimes referred to as secondary units, granny units, or in-law units. They can have a separate mailing address and be rented to a third-party or occupied by a property owner(s). 

On March 13, 2018, the City Council adopted new ADU regulations that apply to properties with single-family homes in all residential zoning districts, including the R-1-H (Single-Family Residential Horsekeeping) zone. These new regulations went into effect on April 13, 2018. A copy of the City Council Staff Report and video, as well as redline changes of the zoning text, are available online.


A Planning Application must be submitted for review by a Planner prior to submitting for a building permit (or plan check review) to ensure compliance with the zoning regulations and preparation of a covenant to be recorded by the County Clerk Recorder. 

ADU Planning Application

ADU Regulations

ADU Permitting Process

Planning Permit Fee is $1,955.22


In 2017 and 2018, the State of California adopted a series of regulations for ADUs in all residential zoning districts in an effort to address growing housing demand and reducing affordability across California. These laws went into effect in all cities on January 1st each year:

 2017  2018
 Senate Bill (SB) 1069   Senate Bill (SB) 229
 Assembly Bill (AB) 2299  Assembly Bill (AB) 494


The California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) has prepared an Accessory Dwelling Unit Memorandum Guide and contains more information on their website. In tandem, the City has prepared map to identify all properties within a 0.5 mile of a public transportation stop and station that qualify for an ADU under State law

To implement the 2017 laws, the City of Burbank adopted an ADU Interim Ordinance. This interim ordinance allows the City to permit the review and construction of ADU's, while also researching further the regulations adopted by the State. To replace the interim ordinance, in 2018, the City begun preparing an ADU Ordinance Update that will incorporate laws which became effective January 1, 2018 and provide a permanent set of ADU regulations for the City's residential zoning districts. 


The City prepared revisions to the ADU Interim Ordinance to incorporate:

  • State laws that went into effect January 1, 2018,
  • Lessons learned from City staff review of 100+ ADU permits since April 2017, 
  • Public input from upcoming community meetings, and
  • Further research conducted on ADU implementation in other cities.

Public Meetings

This project was discussed at the following meetings:

  • Community Meetings (Meeting Flyer) on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at Community Room 104 in the Community Services Building and on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at the Community Room in the Buena Vista Library. Planning Staff provided an overview presentation of the current ADU regulations, the process and suggestions for updating the regulations, and heard public input on desired modifications for the ADU Ordinance Update, such as size (square footage), conversion of existing permitted structures, and other development standards.
  • Planning Board Public Hearing on February 12, 2018 in the Council Chambers. The Board voted to recommended the City Council approve a Zoning Text Amendment to Title 10, Chapter 1 (Zoning) to establish permanent development standards for accessory dwelling units. The meeting agenda and staff report are available online, as well as the meeting video.
  • City Council Public Hearing on March 6, 2018 in the Council Chambers. The City Council voted to introduce an ordinance for adoption to approve a Zoning Text Amendment to modify the ADU regulations. The meeting agenda, staff report, and video are available online.  
  • City Council Consent Item on March 13, 2018 in the Council Chambers. The City Council voted (4-0, 1 absent) to adopt new ADU regulations. The meeting agenda, staff report, and video are available online.   


On April 25, 2017, the City Council adopted an ADU Interim Ordinance for 45 days. The Council adopted an extension of the interim ordinance on June 6, 2017, allowing the regulations to be in effect until April 22, 2018. The interim regulations were developed based on 2017 State laws, public input received, and existing Burbank Municipal Code regulations.

Public Meetings

The following public meetings on the Interim Ordinance have occurred:

  • City Council Public Hearing on April 25, 2017. At this meeting, the City Council adopted a 45-day interim ordinance. A copy of the interim 45-day ordinance.
  • Community Meeting held on May 17, 2017. A video of the community meeting is available online.
  • City Council Public Hearing on June 6, 2017. At this meeting, the City Council adopted an extension to the interim ordinance to be effective until April 22, 2018. 


For more information or questions, please contact the Planning Division by phone at (818) 238-5250 or by email at 

View Full Site