Looking up at palm trees at Curtis Hixon Park

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)

Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory Dwelling Units

Accessory Dwelling Units are residential housing units that function as as a secondary use to a primary use on an existing property. They function as fully independent living quarters with a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. Examples are:

  • “Mother-in-law" cottages
  • Tiny Homes
  • Garage apartments

ADUs are more affordable because they are smaller in size than a full-size home or apartment. Tampa’s code allows ADUs to be constructed in Seminole Heights, the area around Lowry Park, the East Tampa Overlay, and the Tampa Heights Overlay. Everywhere else in the City, ADUs may only be created for a family member and are called Extended Family Residences (EFR) and have slightly different requirements. The main residence must be owner-occupied. Other developments and use regulations apply.

ADUs and EFRs are considered “Special Uses” which means they are permitted only if a Special Use application is submitted and all the special use criteria can be met on the specific site.

The City of Tampa conducted an online survey on the topic of Accessory Dwelling Units in the Spring of 2022. Approximately 1,000 responses were received.

Staff is bringing forward changes to the Tampa Land Development Code related to Accessory Dwelling Units.

In late 2022, City Council requested staff to conduct additional community outreach on ADUs and bring back a revised proposal in the Spring of 2023.

As part of the ongoing community outreach effort, an additional survey was conducted in July 2023. A link to the survey can be found here.


Research & Resources:


Virtual Public Information Meeting – October 18 at 6:00 PM

City Council Workshop – October 27 at 9:00 AM

  • City presented the proposed changes at this meeting.
  • Staff Presentation (includes unrelated code amendments)

­­­East Tampa CRA Community Advisory Committee - February 7, 2023 at 9:30 AM

Davis Islands Civic Association Board Meeting – February 7, 2023 at 7:00 PM

Hyde Park Neighborhood Meeting – February 27, 2023 at 6:30 pm - Kate Jackson Community Center

Wellswood Community Meeting - January 8, 2024 at 7:00 PM

South Seminole Heights - January 16, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Lowry Park Central - January 18, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Old Seminole Heights - January 23, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Temple Crest, Southeast Seminole Heights, & Woodland Terrace- January 29, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Armenia Gardens Estate, Armenia Terrace, & Riverbend - February 12, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Sulphur Springs - February 22, 2024 at 6:30 PM

Riverside Heights & Ridgewood Park - March 12, 2024 at 6:00 PM


Building Permits and “Tiny Homes”

“Tiny Homes” must be permitted and meet Florida building codes. “Tiny Homes” can be built on-site using conventional construction techniques or built off site in a factory setting (also known as “modular” construction). Both conventional construction and modular construction are allowed. Please see the links below for more information about proper permitting. Please note that according to Section 27-282 of the city code, “No mobile home shall be permitted within the corporate limits of the city except in a duly licensed mobile home park or in PD districts in which mobile homes are an approved use. No mobile home shall be parked upon any public street right-of-way.”

Differences between Mobile and Modular Homes:


Search of state-approved modular manufacturers:


Please call the city’s Construction Services number at 813-274-3100 for more information regarding building permitting and to verify the requirements that apply to your site.

The information in this document does not constitute an official interpretation of the City of Tampa Land Development Regulations and is non-binding on the City of Tampa. Information should be confirmed with Development Coordination staff by calling 813-274-3100.