Pre-Approved ADU Plan Submittal Process

This guide has been generated to assist you in the preparation of your building permit submittal for your Pre-Approved ADU. Please follow the steps outlined below.

*** For standard ADUs (not using a pre-approved plan) please download and complete the standard ADU/JADU Submittal Checklist.

To utilize Santa Ana’s Pre-Approved ADU Plans, your property must meet the following requirements:

    • Proposed to be developed or currently developed with a single-family or two-family residence
    • Not in a flood zone
    • Not in a historical district
    • Not in a SD-19 zoning district
    • Not in a SD-40 zoning district
    • Proposed project must meet grading permit exemption requirements

Check the property information search tool to determine if your property is eligible.

  • Projects utilizing the Pre-Approved ADU Plans can only submit via electronic plan check.
  • Click here to request an electronic plan review for a new Pre-Approved ADU. Please allow up to 3 business days for our staff to process your request and respond with an email with further instruction.
  • While you wait for a response, please  ensure  you have  all  the  following  documents,  which  are required for Pre-Approved ADU Plan submittal.
    • Pre-Approved ADU Submittal Checklist, which you may use as a guide to ensure your plans meet all necessary requirements for submittal.
    • Pre-Approved ADU Application and Affidavit
    • Hold Harmless Agreement
    • Site Plan detailing the Pre-Approved Plan set utilized, all existing and proposed structures, property lines, walkways, driveways, landscaped yards, walls/fences, air conditioning units, and existing or proposed easements (minimum scale: 1 inch = 20 feet).
    • Cover Page (Title Sheet) of your chosen Pre-Approved ADU Plan must have all fillable fields completed.
    • Grading Exemption Packet shall be submitted, completed and signed along with application.
    • Copy of Recent Title Report: The Title Report must have been completed within the last six months and must include as Assessor’s Parcel Map, Grant Deed, and Legal Description for the property. The Grant Deed should indicate the owner of record signing the General Data and Affidavit form.  A Title Report can be obtained through any title company.
    • Selected Pre-Approved ADU Plans have been pre-filed and named according to the required File Naming Convention and Upload Submittal Guide , please do not alter names of documents once you have downloaded them.
  • Upon approval of your new Pre-Approved ADU request, you will be invited (via email) to create an account and submit your project materials into a portal for review. Please follow the E-Plan Check Review Upload and Submittal Guide for file naming, size requirements and uploading instructions. You will have 5 days to upload your files after receiving your invitation.
  • Once the project materials are revised to reflect any missing information and are approved by the Planning Division, the Building Division will be notified that the project is ready for plan check. At that time a representative from the Building Division will contact you.
  • While waiting for the Building Division to contact you, visit the forms, applications, and handouts page to ensure all necessary documents will be ready for submittal:
    • Pre-Approved ADU Application and Affidavit
    • Hold Harmless Agreement
    • Site Plan
    • Cover Page of selected Pre-Approved ADU plan
    • Building Permit Application
    • Electrical Permit Application
    • Plumbing Permit Application
    • Mechanical Permit Application
    • Grading Permit Exemption packet
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