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 dwelling. 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 an SD-19 zone
    • Not in a SD-40 zone
  • Projects utilizing the Pre-Approved ADU Plans can only submit via electronic plan check.
  • Prepare your site plan and 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, complete the following required documents in addition to your site plan (Please note that these documents need to be edited to reflect the new address assignment for your Pre-Approved ADU, which will be emailed to you upon approval).
  • 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.
  • Additionally, you will receive an invoice for a plan check fee through your email. The invoice will expire after 10 days. The Planning Division cannot proceed with plan check until payment is received.
  • Once the fee is paid and your documents have been uploaded and submitted, your project will be sent to the Planning Division for a pre-screen to check for completeness. If any additional information is required, a planner will alert you and request that you upload the missing information into the portal.
  • 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:
    • Site Plan
    • Hold Harmless Agreement
    • Cover Page of selected Pre-Approved ADU plan
    • Building Permit Application
    • Electrical Permit Application
    • Plumbing Permit Application
    • Mechanical Permit Application
    • Grading Exemption Form with Drainage Plans OR Grading Permit Application with Grading Plans
  • The Building Division will review your submittal and provide you with the next steps for obtaining your building permit.
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