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Tustin, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach ADU Ordinance Updates

Orange County Cities are Updating ADU Housing Regulations. Tustin, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach have all updated their ADU ordinance to match current state law.


The Tustin City Council updated their ADU ordinance to match new state requirements. This ADU ordinance update was conducted in parallel with the Housing Element update adopted on October 5, 2021 by the City Council. The Housing Element projects that at least 35 ADUs and JADUs will be approved and constructed in the next decade. The Council held a second reading of the proposed ADU Ordinance No. 1517 at the December 7, 2021 Regular City Council Meeting where the ordinance was approved as read.

ADU in Tustin, designed by Housable

ADUs are now allowed by right in all residential zones and there is no minimum lot size or lot coverage requirements. Homeowners on single family lots are allowed one JADU and one ADU and multifamily lot owners are allowed one attached conversion (25% of space) or up to two detached ADUs. Setbacks for ADUs have also been updated to no further toward the street than existing structures, as have height limits which were reduced to 16 feet. 

Floor area maximums have been adjusted to allow for up to 50% of existing floor area for conversions and attached units with fixed square footage limits based on bedrooms for new detached units and no maximums for detached converted spaces so long as they don’t exceed 150 square feet of the existing footprint. A minimum unit size of 220 square feet was also established. 

Read more about building an ADU in Tustin here.

Newport Beach

Newport Beach is also updating their ADU ordinance and is waiving many ADU fees through the end of 2022. You can find a recent summary of the ordinance on the Newport City website. Property owners are now allowed one ADU and one JADU on residentially zoned lots of any size. Maximum size as well as height were also increased to 850 for one bedroom and a 1000 square feet for two bedrooms, both with 16 feet height limits. Replacement parking is only required for some projects within the Coastal Zone.

Read more about building an ADU in Newport Beach here

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has been working on ADU ordinance updates since April of 2021 and approved an updated ordinance at their November 16, 2021 City Council meeting. Setbacks were simplified to a minimum of 4 feet for all ADUs (excluding front yard setbacks) and the total square footage was limited to no greater than 1000 square feet. Rather than limit the number of stories, the city aligned with state law and limited new construction to 16 feet. 

Read more about building an ADU in Laguna Beach here.