Accessory Dwellings

A one-stop source about multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law units, accessory dwelling units…

What are the rules where I live?

Rules for creating ADUs vary from place to place.  Check the table below for links to your area.

Please remember this is a volunteer-driven site!  If you don’t see your city, or the link for your city is wrong, please let us know with a comment below — or even better, do some digging and leave the correct info in your comment.  With your help, we can build an up-to-date list for the entire continent.

State/Province City/County
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona Phoenix (called a ‘guesthouse’)
Arkansas
California Lake Elsinore – “second unit”
Los Angeles – defaults to state standards
Sacramento
San Diego (City)
– “Companion Unit”
San Diego (County)
San Jose (Section 20.30.150)
Santa Cruz
Colorado Boulder
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida Jacksonville – not allowed
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois Chicago – not allowed
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland Montgomery County
Massachusetts
Michigan Detroit – Not allowed except carriage houses built prior to 1940 (p. 461)
Traverse City
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York New York City – Not allowed
North Carolina  Charlotte-Mecklenberg
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon Beaverton – section 40.05
Bend

Corvallis
Eugene
Gresham
Hillsboro – section 88a
Medford
Oregon City
Portland
Salem – Not allowed
Springfield
Pennsylvania PhiladelphiaPittsburg
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas Austin
Dallas
– only by special exception
Houston
San Antonio
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington Olympia
Seattle
West Virginia
Wisconsin Madison (p. 28-199)
Wyoming

More details about Oregon cities

If the table above isn’t enough info for you, here is an older table that focuses on Oregon cities, and has some more details about specific regulations:  Accessory Dwelling Unit Zoning Codes .ADU Zoning Matrix

If you’re willing to add to this dataset for your state, please contact us.

Even more details about Portland, Oregon

For more in depth information on Portland’s ADU regulations, review the following information.An introduction to the rules governing ADUs in Portland, OR is contained in this on-line guide. Among its more helpful links are:

Portland also allows accessory structures, some permitted and some not, that don’t qualify as separate dwelling units yet often have attributes similar to ADUs. For a table-format summary of codes related to these other structures, check out this Accessory Structure (Informal) Code Guide.

12 comments on “What are the rules where I live?

  1. Chris Neubecker
    May 9, 2014

    Thank you for sharing this information. This is wonderful research and will help planners in other communities trying to promote ADUs to advance this cause in our own jurisdictions.

    • linamenard
      May 9, 2014

      Dear Chris,

      We’re so glad you’ve found the information on AccessoryDwellings.org helpful. As you noted, we hope it assists planners to promote ADUs throughout the country.

      Sincerely,
      Lina Menard
      A fellow planner and coordinator of the ADU Case Studies Project

  2. J. Schmidt
    May 9, 2014

    Anything known about Long Island/Suffolk County/Brookhaven Town?

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  5. Lora Shaner
    September 5, 2014

    How about Nevada – particularly Las Vegas?

  6. Sharri Chaidez
    September 9, 2014

    I live in Sacramento, California. I have been contemplating adding a 4/plex to my current property, but I’m not sure of the codes or regulations regarding this type of addition. My residence is also considered a historical property. Where would I begin to find information about adding an adu?

  7. Pingback: What to Know Before Building a Guest House | Your San Diego Real Estate Source!

  8. captainlucianchiroptera
    September 15, 2014

    I’m curious if there has been any word if Salem, OR will be changing it’s laws any time soon, or if I should start looking for places around Salem, while I maintain my current place of employment…

  9. Pingback: 5 things to consider before building a guesthouse

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