Permit Submittals for New Residences (SB 9 & ADUs/JADUs)


The City recognizes the importance of livable housing and an attractive, suitable living environment for all residents. California Senate Bill (SB) 9 created a ministerial approval process for "two-unit developments" and "urban lot splits" as valuable forms of housing in California. It is the intent of the City to permit Two-unit Developments and Urban Lot Splits in single-family residential zones subject to standards that will ensure the units contribute to a suitable living environment for people of all ages and economic levels, while preserving the integrity and character of residential neighborhoods.

What is a Two-Unit Development?

A Two-Unit Development is two new primary units or the addition of one new primary unit and one existing primary unit, each with its own kitchen and bathroom facilities on a single lot.

What is an Urban Lot Split?

The ministerial review of a tentative parcel map and the subsequent final parcel map to subdivide one lot into two lots within a single-family residential zone or within a specific plan development area implementing a single-family residential zone.


Accessory dwelling units (also known as second units or granny flats) are independent housing units that can be either detached or attached to an existing single-family residence or Two-unit Development. The State Legislature has declared that Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units are valuable forms of housing. It is the intent of the City to permit  Accessory Dwelling Units and Junior Accessory Dwelling Units in all areas zoned to allow single-family, multi-family and mixed-use residential, in conformance with State law, in all those areas and subject to standards that will ensure the units contribute to a suitable living environment.

ADU Graphic (PNG)

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?

An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a residential dwelling unit that provided complete independent living facilities for one or more persons and is located on a lot with a proposed or existing primary residence. An ADU shall provide permanent provision for living, sleeping, eating cooking and sanitation. 

What  is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit?

A unit that is no more than 500 sq. ft. in size and contained entirely within a single-family residence. A JADU may include separate sanitation facilities, or may share sanitation facilities with the existing structure. 

ADU Resources

ADU Design Guide


Pre-Plan Check Submittal - Get a Planners Advice

Contact the Planning Division to receive advice of your proposed ADU/JADU and/or SB 9 Units. You may submit a preliminary sketch to the Planning Division at The Planner will advise you on how the zoning code applies to your proposal. 

  1. Hire Experienced Professionals: We advise that you hire a designer, licensed architect, or engineer to design the ADU and a licensed contractor to build it (some companies provide both).
  2. Prepare Your Submittal Package: The Building & Safety Division is responsible for all building permit intake. Once the Building & Safety Division receives all required documentation, they will route the complete submittal package to the Planning Division, Public Works Department & Fire Department. Your submittal package must include: 
    1. Completed Building Permit Application 
    2. Project Plans 
    3. Completed ADU Checklist & Questionnaire and/or Completed SB 9 Checklist & Questionnaire
      • If submitting both, please complete Pages 10-12 of the ADU Questionnaire and the SB 9 Checklist & Questionnaire
    4. Waste Management Form 
    5. Water Quality Management Plan Checklist (WQMP) 
    6. Encroachment Permit & Address Change Form
    7. Best Management Practices Form
  3. Submit Package & Pay: To submit your submittal package, please email all documents (as a PDF file) to the Building & Safety Division email at  Processing the application can take some time, please await an email confirmation to confirm your application has been deemed complete to submit for payment. Once you receive the email confirmation, please contact the Building & Safety Division at (714) 671-4406 to make your payment over the phone. If you are paying with a check, please make the check payable to City of Brea mail to 1 Civic Center Circle, Brea CA 92821 (ATTN: Building & Safety). Please make sure to include your building permit number when submitting the check. If the application is found to be incomplete, the Building & Safety Division will require a resubmittal. 
  4. Plan Check: During the Plan Check process, all departments including the Building & Safety Division, Planning Division, Engineering Division & Fire Department will review the plans for consistency with all applicable codes & standards. IMPORTANT NOTE: If your project requires revisions/corrections, please await comments from all departments before resubmitting your plans for additional review. Your plan check is not deemed approved until all departments/divisions have approved your plans.
  5. Payment of Fees & Permit Issuance: Once your project is deemed approved by all departments, the building permit applicant will receive an email notification to submit an additional inspection deposit and pay all other fees to date. Questions on fees? Please view the fee schedule here.
  6. Construction & Inspection. Once your project permit has been issued, your may begin construction.