The City of Orinda and Accessory Dwellings

Spring's Mediterranean Dream Casita in Orinda

Here are a few of the requirements related to second units for the City of Orinda, though you’ll have to review the municipal code for the most accurate definition, requirements, variances and exceptions:

  • No second unit shall be located on a lot < 20,000 sq ft of net lot area unless there are fewer 40 properties within a five hundred (500) foot radius of the subject property and the subject lot is not less than ten thousand (10,000) square feet.
  • Skirt wall over six feet or less in height. This standard shall not apply to existing legally constructed structures converted to second units.
  • On a lot less than 20,000 sq ft, the total gross floor area of a second unit, exclusive of 200 sq ft for a single-car garage or carport parking space, shall not exceed 750 sq ft and may not be less than 150 sq ft.
  • A second unit on a lot less than 20,000 sq ft shall not contain more than one bedroom. A second unit on a lot 20,000 sq ft or greater may have up to two bedrooms.
  • If the second unit is detached, all utilities for the second unit shall be installed underground. This standard shall not apply to existing legally constructed structures converted to second units.
Spring's Mediterranean Dream Casita in Orinda
Spring’s Mediterranean Dream Casita in Orinda

Second units can only be constructed on lots within certain residential zoning areas. Verify with the Planning Division to confirm your requirements in your zoning district.  Learn more about accessory dwellings by learning about our process, read our client stories  including one of our most popular completed projects,   Spring’s Mediterranean Dream Casita in Orinda!  Contact us today if you are interested in building your own backyard cottage.

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