The following is a summary of our research into a new accessory dwelling in Oakland, CA. These answers are based on a conversation directly between one of New Avenue’s partner architects and a planner who works for the City of Oakland Planning Department. These also apply to a specific parcel in Oakland. This is a good guideline , but your project is guaranteed to be different.
Q: What is the zoning district?
Q: What is the allowable coverage? How is it measured
A: 40% coverage for any and all structures. No more than 50% of the rear yard set back may be covered by an ADU.
Q: Is there a floor-area ratio (FAR) between the Main Home and the Second Unit? What is it?
Q: What is the maximum allowed size for the Second Unit?
Q: Do chimneys, window boxes, and/or bay windows count toward the square footage of the Second Unit?
Q: Do other structures count toward the existing footprint? What are they?
Q: Does the basement and/or attic count toward the floor area of the Main Home?
Q: Can the Second Unit have two floors?
Q: Can the Second Unit have a loft, mezzanine, open storage, closed storage, and/or attic?
Q: Can the loft be habitable space?
Q: Can the Second Unit have a basement, workspace, or other area? Do they count toward square footage?
Q: What landscaping requirements and exceptions are there
Q: Is this a liquefaction zone?
Q: Is this a fire zone?
Q: Is this a flood zone?
Q: Is this an environmental zone?
Setbacks and Dimensions
Q: What is the front setback?
Q: What are the side setbacks?
Q: What is the rear setback?
Q: What are the required setbacks to the Main Home?
A: 10 foot minimum for planning, but Building Code will regulate if we have windows in the cottage wall facing the main building.
Q: What are any other required setbacks? Special setbacks may be needed for creeks, power lines, key or corner lots, etc.
Q: Are there any setback exceptions?
Q: Can the Second Unit be connected to the Main Home? If not, how far apart do they have to be?
Q: Can we continue a wall of an existing structure within a setback? Is there a maximum length for walls
Q: What is the maximum height limit? Is there a max average height limit? Can we match the height of the existing house?
Q: Do we measure from the sidewalk, the property line, or from somewhere else?
QL How many parking spaces are required for the Main Home? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have?
Q: How many more new spaces are required for the property? Sizes? Do they need to be covered? What configuration or access must they have? Do they require a border around them?
Q: Is there a turning radius or other parking rule to test?
Q: Enter any additional notes.
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