Preapproved Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Preapproved ADUs

The City is now preapproving plans for detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) that are submitted by designers, architects, builders, and other qualified professionals. Preapproved ADU plans can be used throughout Fremont with an expedited plan review timeline and lower permitting costs. Selecting a preapproved ADU plan will soon be the quickest way for homeowners to add a new secondary unit to their property in Fremont!

The City's Planning Division is currently accepting applications from qualified design professionals. For information on how to apply, please read the "For Designers" section below.

The City anticipates that the first preapproved plans will become available in summer 2021. To be notified when plans become available, homeowners can sign up for the City's Preapproved ADU Interest List. More information is available in the "For Homeowners" section below.

For questions, please contact Courtney Pal by email or by calling 510-494-4532.

For Designers

The City is currently accepting applications from qualifying design professionals to have their plans for detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) preapproved for use throughout Fremont. Having your ADU plans preapproved by the City is a great way to ensure that your future clients can move through the permitting process quickly and smoothly. All preapproved ADU plans will be featured on this webpage to help connect you with Fremont homeowners who are interested in adding an ADU to their property. You will still retain your copyright to the preapproved design so that any homeowner who wishes to use the design must contract with you to do so.

Once your ADU plan is preapproved by the City, the preapproval will remain valid until the City adopts new building or zoning codes that apply to your ADU plan. The City will notify you when such changes take place and let you know how updated plans can be submitted.

The City offers two options to get your ADU plans preapproved:

  • Concurrent Processing: The City offers a “Concurrent Preapproval” application so that you can get your ADU plans preapproved while you are going through a site-specific plan check. Simply fill out a Request for Concurrent ADU Plan Preapproval along with your site-specific plan check application. Concurrent preapproval does not add any time or additional cost to your plan check. ADU plans that were submitted after January 1, 2020 and already reviewed by the City may also be considered for preapproval. For more information, please contact Courtney Pal by email or by calling 510-494-4532.

  • Independent Application: The City also accepts applications for ADU preapproval independent of a site-specific plan check. Please refer to the City's ADU Preapproval Submittal Checklist. Applications may be submitted online through the City’s Citizen Access permit portal. Instructions on how to submit the application using Citizen Access are available on the City's Online Permits webpage.
For Homeowners

Working with a designer that has a preapproved ADU plan will soon be the quickest way for homeowners to add a new secondary unit to their property in Fremont. Here are just some of the advantages to selecting an ADU design that is preapproved by the City:

  • Design Certainty: Know that the basic ADU design you have selected complies with the California Building Code and Citywide design guidelines.
  • Fast Review: Applications using preapproved plans are reviewed on a shorter timeline than other new detached ADU applications.
  • Reduced Fees: Applicants pay a flat plan review fee of $1,000. Additional construction and inspection fees still apply and vary depending on the plan selected.

In order to use a preapproved ADU plan, you must contract with the designer responsible for the plan set. All preapproved plans still require additional site-specific plans, studies, and engineering, as applicable. Please refer to the City's handout Preapproved ADUs: What’s Preapproved and What’s Not to view a basic overview of what additional information may be required if you use a preapproved ADU plan. A full list of submittal requirements is found on the City's Submittal Checklist for Using a Preapproved ADU Plan .

Preapproved ADU plans will be coming soon! To be notified when new plans become available, please sign up for the City's Preapproved ADU Interest List.