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

Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) program overview: 

This is the primary link I would direct people to for more information on BayREN program offerings. https://www.bayren.org/ BayREN offers rebates, funding and technical assistance to help residents, property owners, business owners and local governments improve the resource-efficiency and carbon footprint of their buildings.

BayREN Business Resources:

Business Upgrades

Save money on your next energy upgrade project with BayREN Business. Incentives are available for energy efficient HVAC, refrigeration, LED lighting, water heating, envelope improvements, and more. By participating in this program, you can reduce energy consumption, enhance air quality, and improve the comfort of your business.  

 BayREN Residential Resources:

The Home Energy Score (HES)

It’s important to know your home before you begin an upgrade. What projects are your best solution to reduce utility bills and make your house more comfortable? 

Instead of making guesses about your home, find out what it really needs when an independent and professional assessor conducts a Home Energy Score (HES) for you. 

Single Family Home+

(Home+) program, BayREN provides a variety of service offerings to Bay Area single family homeowners and renters including rebates for qualifying measures, an online energy evaluation, no-cost energy efficiency kits, in-home education, and direct install services. A central part of this program is free energy advising from certified building performance professionals (Energy Advisors) that work hand in hand with customers through the entirety of their energy retrofit project.

  • You can find the list of BayREN rebates here.

Not sure which project to tackle first? Contact your home energy advisor to learn how to get the most efficiency out of your upgrades by doing them in the most effective order.

BayREN Multifamily Property Resources:

Bay Area Multifamily Building Enhancements (BAMBE)

BAMBE offers no-cost technical assistance and a per-unit flat rebate for multiple measure energy upgrade scopes that save a minimum percentage of the whole building’s energy usage. This program targets and prioritizes small and affordable properties.

  • Eligibility: Residential properties in the Bay Area with 5+ units
    • Priority given to affordable properties and underrepresented property types
  • No-Cost Technical Assistance
    • Energy & water usage analysis, site visits, scope development
    • One-stop-shop to connect with other incentives, resources, and financing
  • Cash Rebates 
    • Base rebate of $500/unit
    • Additional incentives for properties located in areas with high health, heat, or housing burdens, and those pursuing electrification
    • Choose your own contractors
  • Learn more: www.bayren.org/multifamily 

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 is managed by the County's Climate Action and Resiliency Division (CARD) and provides resources, rebates, incentives, contractors, and financing options to help property owners save energy, save money, and live comfortably.

The CARD team maintains a very useful Video Library which includes a collection of energy and resiliency online presentations, talks, and short subjects categorized by General, Energy, Resilience, and Water. These presentations are a great way to understand the full scope of resources available and how to access them.

The CARD team also manages the Home Resilience Guide webpage and pdfs of the guide which is a great resource for home improvements. The guide also combines BayREN programs and resources with other stackable programs.


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.