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NewsGovernmentMilpitas launches faster permitting process for adding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Milpitas launches faster permitting process for adding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Through a collaborative program between the City of Milpitas, homeowners, and design professionals, adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to a Milpitas property will now be quicker and simpler than it’s been before.

An ADU (which is sometimes referred to as a granny flat or secondary unit) is a smaller, separate unit that is located on the same lot as the main property. An ADU has a separate entrance, along with its own bathroom and kitchen. Building an ADU on one’s property can offer numerous benefits, such as additional living space for family and also providing a more affordable housing option in high-demand areas.

The City of Milpitas has not only established a speedier and less costly ADU permitting process, but this process comes hand in hand with a Pre-Approved ADU program, meaning the City has approved a set of standard ADU designs (subject to new additions from qualified designers) that can be fast-tracked into construction. When homeowners select one of these pre-approved plans, their ADU review period shrinks considerably.

In a press release, the City listed the benefits to homeowners as follows: 

  • Pre-approved ADU plans designed by qualified professionals will expedite the plan review time which reduces permitting costs.
  • Pre-approved plans that meet City building codes will save time and reduce design uncertainty.
  • Access to a network of pre-approved design professionals for more affordable construction.

Benefits for Qualified Professionals (Architects, Builders, and Designers)

  • Pre-approved vendors gain a competitive edge by showcasing their expertise in the development of streamlined ADUs.
  • Reduced project timelines with pre-approved plans.
  • Pre-approved ADU plans, and expedited permitting affords qualified professionals more time to take on more projects.

The release went on to add, “The City welcomes and invites qualified architects, builders, and designers to engage in the process. To be deemed pre-approved, plans should be submitted to the Milpitas Building and Safety Department for review and approval.”

Said City Manager Ned Thomas, “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated Building Safety staff for their role in launching our streamlined ADU design and permitting process. The Pre-Approved ADU

Program is a testament to the City’s commitment to empowering homeowners, nurturing innovation, and fostering a sense of community where diverse housing options flourish.”

More info can be found here.

Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro
Eric Shapiro is a writer & filmmaker. As a screenwriter, he’s won a Fade In Award and written numerous feature films in development by companies including WWE, Mandalay Sports Media, Game1, and Select Films. He is also the resident script doctor for Rebel Six Films (producers of A&E’s “Hoarders”). As a journalist, Eric’s won a California Journalism Award and is co-owner and editor of The Milpitas Beat, a Silicon Valley newspaper with tens of thousands of monthly readers that has won the Golden Quill Award as well as the John Swett Award for Media Excellence. As a filmmaker, Eric’s directed award-winning feature films that have premiered at the Fantasia Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, and Shriekfest, and been endorsed by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Eric’s apocalyptic novella “It’s Only Temporary” appears next to Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” on Nightmare Magazine’s list of the 100 Best Horror Novels of All Time. He lives in Northern California with his wife, Rhoda, and their two sons.


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