Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a detached or attached dwelling unit of up to 850 square feet or 1,200 square feet (depending on lot size). An ADU provides permanent, independent living provisions including sleeping, cooking, living and sanitation on the same lot as the primary dwelling unit.

A total of 2 ADUs are permitted in any Zoning District on lots that are developed with a single-family or multi-family residential use.

ADUs are required to be constructed in accordance with the development standards for the Accessory Dwelling Unit in Section 18.09.180.

The Accessory Dwelling Unit Brochure (PDF) provides a summary of the Development Standards for construction of the units.

Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs)

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit, or JADU, is a living space not exceeding five hundred (500) square feet in size and contained entirely within a legally established bedroom within the walls of an existing, fully permitted single-family dwelling. JADUs shall include an efficiency kitchen, and may include separate sanitation facilities or share sanitation facilities with the existing structure.

Napa Sonoma ADU Standard Plans Program

The City of Cloverdale is excited to partner with Napa Sonoma ADU and other jurisdictions around Napa and Sonoma counties to support residents in planning for and building ADUs. The Napa Sonoma ADU Standard Plans Program provides property owners with easy access to dozens of “off the shelf” ADU plans that can be purchased at low cost, saving thousands of dollars and months of time over a custom design. Plan options include site-built and prefabricated designs of various sizes, including “pre-reviewed” plans. 

Since each property is unique, these plans are approximately 85% complete. It will be up to the individual property owner to complete the plans based on the specific site. It is anticipated that many customers may take the plans to work with a contractor or other professional to finalize them with the few remaining components. Some examples of work that may still need to be completed includes the following items that are dependent on the specific site and orientation of the ADU:

-Site plan

-Stormwater Best Management Practices Standard (depending on size of the lot and area of ground disturbance)

-Title 24 energy calculations (may not be required if no changes/modifications are proposed to plans)

-Truss design (may not be required if no changes/modifications are proposed to plans)


What are Pre-Reviewed Plans?

Pre-reviewed plans include prefabricated ADUs that have already been reviewed by City staff and state or federal code reviewers as well as site-built ADU plans that have been reviewed by a third-party reviewer, BPR Consulting Group, for compliance with applicable building codes. Visit the program’s FAQs page, here, for more info.


Pre-Reviewed ADU Plans in the City of Cloverdale

The Cloverdale Building Department accepts “pre-reviewed” ADU plans as part of an ADU permit application. When using the Napa Sonoma ADU Standard Plans gallery you can select our jurisdiction to see the plans that we consider to be pre-reviewed. 


Remember that even pre-reviewed plans must be submitted along with additional information to receive a building permit. Please visit the ADU section above for more information. 


Why Use a Pre-Reviewed Plan?

Because these plans have already been reviewed for code compliance, our review of your permit application will go faster. Generally, we strive to turn-around permit applications with pre-reviewed plans in 4 weeks, compared to 6 weeks for most other applications. And because our review should take less staff time, assuming that no changes or modifications to the plans are proposed, there shouldn't be a need for multiple rounds of staff review and additional review fees would be avoided.    


Due to site- or project-specific issues or staffing, these turn-around times may vary, and additional costs may apply if non-standard issues arise that require additional information, time and attention.


What Should Be My First Step?

Regardless of whether you choose a pre-reviewed plan, another standard plan, or develop a custom plan, it is essential that you determine in advance the size of ADU you can build on your property and other factors that might limit or define necessary features of your ADU. You can do this by contacting the folks at Napa Sonoma ADU and/or by coming in to talk with one of our permit technicians.

Temporary Dwelling Units

In response to the 2017 Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino County wildfires, the city adopted an Urgency Ordinance on December 12, 2017 that allows vehicles generally used for human habitation to be parked on private property and occupied provided that certain requirements are met and a Temporary Land Use Certificate is issued by the city.

Outside of the Downtown Commercial (DTC) Zoning District, Temporary Dwelling Units (TDU) can be parked in the driveway of a single-family residence or in a private parking lot of a commercial, industrial or institutional use. The TDU Brochure (PDF) provides a summary of Development Standards for the use of TDUs.

A Temporary Land Use Certificate is required for all vehicles used as a TDU. No fee is charged for the Temporary Land Use Certificate. The Certificate must be posted in a visible location on the exterior of the vehicle.  Download the Temporary Land Use Certificate Application (PDF).

Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program

The city continues to partner with the Sonoma County Community Development Commission to offer low-cost loans for property repairs and rehabilitation to owners of single-family homes, mobile homes, and multi-family homes. Learn more information on the Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program (PDF)

En Espanol aqui (PDF).

Fair Housing

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) enforces California laws that provide protection and monetary relief to victims of unlawful housing practices. View our Fair Housing Laws Brochure (PDF).

En Espanol aqui (PDF).

Get answers to some frequently asked questions (PDF) regarding Fair Housing laws.

Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California is an independent nonprofit providing varying levels of fair housing advice and services, as well as mortgage foreclosure prevention services to residents of Sonoma County, including Cloverdale.

Farmworker Housing

The city's adopted Housing Element instructs staff to provide technical assistance to developers seeking to provide affordable units for farmworkers in the city. Staff is happy to assist developers in the preparation of funding applications to programs such as the Joe Serna Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant program administered by the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD).

Get more information on the Joe Serna Jr. Farmworker Housing Grant.

Energy Use and Conservation

Learn ways to reduce your homes energy needs and consumption with construction techniques and site planning such as passive solar home design (PDF) and energy efficient lighting (PDF).

Sonoma County Energy Independence Program provides resources, rebates, incentives, contractors, and financing options to help property owners save energy, save money, and live comfortably.

Home+ offers cash rebates for your home improvements, plus certified contractors and support every step of the way. Rebates are available for eligible energy efficiency upgrades including air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, high-efficiency furnaces and air conditioners, high efficiency water heaters and more.

Bay Area Multi-Family Building Enhancement offers cash rebates and no-cost energy consulting for multifamily properties that undertake energy and water upgrades. The program assists in planning energy saving improvements designed to save 15% or more of a building's energy and water usage and provides $750 per unit in rebates to help pay for the upgrade.

View helpful tips from the U.S. Department of Energy on saving money and energy at home.

PG & E provides the following helpful information on ways to save money and conserve energy at home:

The California Energy Commission provides the following information on ways to consume less energy:

Kids can learn how to help reduce energy use at home with helpful tips from the Home Advisor website.

Housing Programs

Learn if you are eligible and how to apply for the CalHFA FHA Program, which is a first mortgage loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration.