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To build an accessory dwelling unit (ADU), the minimum lot size has to be 5,000 square feet and it has to be owner-occupied. If your lot is under 5,000 square feet you cannot construct a new ADU, but you can convert an existing structure to an ADU. Refer to Title 17.60.070 of the Municipal Code for additional regulations on accessory dwelling units.
The Planning Division maintains a map that shows zoning for every parcel in the City. The zoning map can be viewed in the Planning Division lobby, or anyone can call (510) 215-3030 to speak with a planner regarding specific zoning, setback, and related questions. Typical minimum setbacks in single family neighborhoods are 20 feet for front setbacks, 15 feet for rear setbacks, and side setbacks may vary from 3-6 feet.
Zoning is the establishment of various districts that include all the territory within the boundaries of the city, within which the use of land and buildings, the space for buildings, and the height and bulk of buildings are regulated. See zoning map to view districts.
One "accessory building" is permitted on each parcel (note: a detached garage does not count as an accessory building). Minimum side and rear setbacks of 3 feet are required, and it is required to separate the accessory building from the primary building by at least 6 feet. If the accessory building is less than 120 square feet, no building permit is required. A building permit and Design Review is required for an accessory building of 120 square feet or larger. The height limit of an accessory building is 12 feet.
A parcel is the legal term for an individual property. The legal deginifion is: a parcel is a section of land that has frontage on an improved public or private street. Refer to the “Universal Terms” section under Title 17.68 of the Municipal Code for a more detailed definition for this and other terms.
A six-foot tall fence is allowed on property lines at the rear and sides of most residential properties. A fence up to three (3) feet is allowed within the front yard area. A six-foot fence may be constructed in the side and rear yard area. Refer to Section 17.45.040 of the Municipal Code for more information.
The Hayward Fault Zone is shown on an available map in the Planning Division. Many real estate offices also have maps of the fault zones. Check with the Planning Division at 215-3030 for specific determination of fault zone limits.
While these situations are often difficult to resolve, it is to the property owner's advantage to make past construction legal. It is important to determine what permits were previously issued, if any, and what construction has been inspected and properly completed. Some of the questions that will need answers include: Was a permit issued by the City? Were the permits finalized? Was any of the construction inspected but not finalized? If such information can be clarified by the Building Department or Tax Assessors’ records, the Planning Division staff will be able to provide a property owner with options for obtaining the proper permits and inspections. In these cases, it is not unusual for properties to have to demolish or reconfigure illegal work, or to obtain both Planning Division and Building Department approvals and permits for work that was done illegally. This question also applies to Residential Health and Safety inspections that discover illegal construction during a sale transaction