You Can Now Build 2 ADUs in the Placer County Portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin!

Placer County has passed the ability for residential property owners in the Lake Tahoe Basin area to add one accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and one junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU). Giving property owners the ability to add 2 new units to their property! 

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) or commonly referred to as in-law units are self-contained homes that provide independent living facilities. These units are legally part of the same property as the original primary residence. Despite providing the amenities that are needed to live independently, these units can never be sold separately. 

Traditional ADUs are typically detached whereas JADUs are built within the existing framework of the primary home. Accessory homes typically range from 220 square-foot studios to nearly 1,200 square-foot houses.

JADUs must offer:

  • A separate entrance from the main home entrance

  • Efficiency kitchen containing a food preparation counter, proportionate storage cabinets, and cooking appliances/facilities 

  • A designated bathroom that is allowed to be shared with the primary residence 

  • Can cover up to 50% of the existing home


  • Accessory homes are required to provide the necessary utility services such as water and sewer.

    • Property owners must investigate water, sewer, and or septic suitability prior to proceeding with design plans

  • ADUs or JADUs can NOT be used as short-term rentals. This means renting these units out for anything less than 30 days is prohibited. 

  • Properties with a JADU must be owner-occupied

    • An owner may occupy either the main dwelling or the JADU.

    • A deed restriction will be put in place by Placer County to ensure that an owner occupies either the main residence or the JADU.

ADU Benefits

The list of benefits in regards to building an accessory home is quite long but here are a few to consider:

  • Additional Revenue Stream: Renting out your ADU or your JADU will provide you with an additional revenue stream that can offset personal living costs (i.e., mortgage payments) or aid in preparing for future financial milestones such as retirement. 

  • Increased Property Value: You are not only adding additional square footage and livable space to your property but should you ever decide to sell your home, you are providing an opportunity for a future buyer to have that same additional revenue stream. ADUs are extremely marketable and desirable for prospective home buyers.

  • Housing: If you decide to offer your ADU as a rental, you would be providing housing in a state where it is severely needed. Providing affordable housing through an ADU is something that can even benefit the older members of your immediate family, keeping them close while maintaining privacy. 

  • Multifunctional: Renting out your ADU/JADU is not mandatory. Now with so many people working from home, creating a new space could be hugely beneficial. Or maybe you are looking for a designated place for guests or an art studio? Having the space available provides so much freedom. 


There are many incentives in place to encourage homeowners to add ADUs to their property such as waived or reduced development fees. Your fees are dependent on the size of the ADU you would like to build but on average, you can save $20,000 in government fees when you build an ADU. To help you establish an estimate of what building an ADU/JADU will cost, Placer County has put together a fee chart and an estimate calculator:

Placer County Fee Chart:

Placer County ADU Calculator:

BONUS: Placer County even offers the use of free plans which should you utilize them has the potential to save you $6,000 – $10,000:

Ready to get started?  

We recommend filling out the ADU & JADU Questionnaire which can be found via the following link:—Tahoe?bidId=

Once you have completed the questionnaire you will need to submit it to Meghan Schwartz via email If you have any questions you can also call her to schedule an appt at (530) 450-5234

Interested in touring properties in the Placer County Portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin? Give us a call / shoot us a text! We would love the opportunity to work with you.








📲(415) 259-8088



Torben Yjord-Jackson – Realtor

License # 02050831

Alicia Magdaleno – Realtor

License # 02065283


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