“Accessory Dwelling Unit” (ADU) means one permanent attached or detached residential dwelling unit which provides complete independent living facilities for one or more persons, and is accessory to one existing or proposed single-family dwelling (SFD). It shall include permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation.  An ADU may be created by constructing a new detached structure or an addition, or by converting the existing permitted interior space of a primary residence or accessory structure into an ADU. Keep in mind that local building codes and regulations can change over time, so it’s crucial to consult the Castro Valley Planning Department or a local building official for the most current and specific information regarding ADU kitchen requirements.

Current kitchen requirements include:

  • Size and Layout: The kitchen in an ADU should be designed efficiently to make the most of the available space. It typically includes a sink, stove or cooktop, refrigerator, countertops, and storage cabinets. Ensure that the layout allows for safe and convenient food preparation.
  • Appliances: Most building codes require the inclusion of essential kitchen appliances, such as a stove or cooktop, refrigerator, and a means for food preparation and cooking. Ensure that these appliances are installed according to safety and ventilation standards.
  • Plumbing and Electrical: Adequate plumbing and electrical systems are essential for the kitchen. Ensure that water supply and drainage are properly installed for the sink and any other appliances that require water. Electrical outlets should be strategically placed to accommodate kitchen appliances and equipment.
  • Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial in the kitchen to remove cooking odors and moisture. This is typically achieved through the installation of a range hood or exhaust fan, which should be vented to the exterior.
  • Fire Safety: Compliance with fire safety regulations is essential for the kitchen. Install smoke detectors in the ADU, including within or near the kitchen area, and consider adding a fire extinguisher for added safety.
  • Accessibility: Ensure that the kitchen is accessible for all residents, including those with disabilities. This may involve complying with accessibility standards for counter heights, clearances, and other features.
  • Countertop Space: Building codes may specify minimum countertop space requirements for meal preparation. Adequate countertop space is important for food preparation and safety.
  • Storage: Provide sufficient storage for dishes, utensils, cookware, and food. Cabinets, drawers, and pantry space may be necessary to accommodate the needs of the ADU’s residents.
  • Lighting: Proper lighting is essential for safety and functionality. Install both general lighting and task lighting to illuminate the kitchen area effectively, especially over countertops and the cooking area.
  • Heating and Cooling: Ensure that the ADU has proper climate control for the comfort of the residents and for food storage. Heating and cooling systems should be appropriate for the kitchen area.
  • Health and Safety Codes: Be aware of any health and safety codes that may apply to residential kitchens, including regulations related to food safety, sanitation, and waste disposal.

Please note that these are general considerations that may apply in many locations, and the specific requirements for ADUs in Castro Valley may vary. To ensure compliance with the most current regulations and standards, it is essential to consult with local authorities, such as the Castro Valley Planning Department, or a qualified architect or contractor familiar with the local regulations.