Accessory Dwelling Unit Regulations


ADU Development Standards & Requirements

Current State law regarding Accessory Dwelling Unit regulations can be found on the State of California’s Legislative Information website. 

Reducing the Residential Impact Fee for ADUs (750 s.f. or larger)

To assist homeowners, the City of Pasadena has prepared the Affordability Covenant and Landlord Agreements for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). These documents are the mechanisms through which ADU applicants may receive a reduced Residential Impact Fee (RIF) applicable to new affordable units in Pasadena.

The Affordability Covenant and Landlord Agreements are optional contracts and are not required for an ADU to receive a building permit. These documents will be reviewed and administered by the Housing & Career Services Department.

The following outlines the steps to help you complete and submit either the Affordability Covenant or Landlord Agreement:

  1. Print or pick-up a copy of the Affordability Covenant OR Landlord Agreement document from the City’s website or the City of Pasadena Permit Center (175 North Garfield Ave.)
  2. Fill-out Affordability Covenant OR Landlord Agreement document and submit to Jim Wong at the Housing & Career Services Department (649 North Fair Oaks Ave., Suite 202) or via email to (email is preferred).

In addition to additional documentation described in the Affordability Covenant and Landlord Agreement, a grant deed and legal description for the property will also be required to be submitted.

Subsequent review and final Affordability Covenant and Landlord Agreement documents will be processed by the Housing & Career Services Department. For any questions, please call (626) 744-8321 or email Randy Mabson at


Available Documents

Execution of one of the following documents is required for a reduced Residential Impact Fee:

  • ADU Affordability Covenant – In this covenant,  the homeowner commits to rent the ADU to a household whose annual income does not exceed 120% of the Area Median Income for a minimum seven-year period. The current income limits are specified within the covenant.
  • ADU Landlord Agreement – In this agreement, the homeowner commits the ADU to be used exclusively, for a minimum seven-year period, by either (1) a family member, as defined in the agreement, OR (2) to the City’s rental assistance clients or a tenant currently participating in the City’s Rental Assistance Program.

Instructions for completing the covenant or the agreement can be found below:

Instructions for ADU Covenant or Agreement