Background and Goals

ADUs are an integral part of the housing continuum. Due to the nature of their size, design, and location in neighborhoods with existing infrastructure and community, ADUs are a common choice home for smaller middle-income households. The Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program is a continuation of the work the City of Bend has done over the past several years to reduce barriers and costs in the permitting process for homeowners who want to build an ADU. The Program’s function of reissuing a plan that has already been reviewed and pre-approved for Building Code is intended to save considerable review time and reduce review fees.

When the Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program was launched, the City made a single pre- approved design available for free. The purpose of this initial step was to provide an immediate and simple design to homeowners. The design is still available on the Program webpage, available at this link. Since then, the City has gathered feedback from the community and stakeholders to further develop the Program. Considering that feedback, and recognizing that one size does not fit all, the City is now launching the second phase of the Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program.

The second phase of the Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program focuses specifically on providing more design options to homeowners by creating an online library of pre- approved plans prepared by designers. To achieve that, the City invites designers to apply to have their designs selected for use as part of the Program. All selected designs will be listed on the City’s online library of pre-approved ADU building designs. The online library will provide information about each design and the designer’s contact information. Homeowners seeking to build an ADU using a pre-approved design will contact the designer to purchase the design directly from them.

Pre-Approved ADU building designs should meet basic community needs. To that end, designers should consider the design recommendations listed below:

Cost Savings – Consideration in design for a modest price point that lends to  affordability. This would include the cost of the plan set itself, materials, innovative construction methods, pre-built products and the like.
Energy Efficiency – Consideration in the design for sustainable materials and
efficient heating and cooling systems, as well as meeting code requirements and
standards for green build ratings.
Suitability for Bend lots and needs – Consideration in design for narrow lots,
sloped lots and multi-use structures such as a detached ADU above a garage or
Construction Feasibility – Consideration in design for materials availability and
design feasibility.
Accessibility – Consideration in design for accessibility not just for the tenant but
also for the visitor, which is commonly referred to as the visit-ability of a dwelling.

Application Evaluation

An ADU design will be accepted into the City’s Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program if (1) the
designer submits an application Cover Form with all application materials, (2) the designer signs the Applicant Agreement and meets all of its requirements, (3) the designer obtains a Master Re-Issue Permit for the design by submitting a separate application for Building Code review with the Building Division, and (4) the design does not violate any other applicable City policies, in the sole discretion of the City.

Designers must submit applications to the City’s Housing Department via email at After receiving an application, the City will evaluate it to determine whether it includes a complete Cover Form, all application materials, and a signed Applicant Agreement. If it does, the design will be tentatively selected for the Program. Final selection of a design for use in the Program is contingent upon the designer’s obtaining a Master Re-Issue Permit through a subsequent application with the Building Division, as well as the designer’s providing proof of insurance coverage as required in the Applicant Agreement.

Application Requirements

Designers seeking to have their ADU designs selected for use as part of the City’s Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program must submit each item listed below. Further submittal guidelines for Building Code review are provided through the Building Division and Permit Portal linked here: Building Permits | City of Bend (

Signed Application Cover Form and Applicant Agreement.
Description of the design highlights (maximum 150 words) to be used in the
listing on the City’s website.
State the price for the plan set. This price will be listed on the City’s website as
the price a designer will charge applicants for the plans.
Narrative on the design (maximum 300 words) describing how the design meets the program goals. This narrative will not be posted rather it will be used by staff in evaluating the application.
Plans, sections, elevations, 1/4” scale
3-D views or photographs to be used in the listing on the City’s website – Photos
of built projects can also be used.
List of primary materials and mechanical systems.

Design Submittal for Building Code Review and Certificate of Insurance

Once a design concept has been tentatively selected for the program, the designer must submit for Building Code review through the Online Permit Center as a Master-Re-Issue Permit. The Online Permit Center is accessible at this link: Online Permit Center | City of Bend ( Designers must follow the permit application instructions within the Online Permit Center Portal and pay the applicable minimal hourly review fee. Designers will need to include in the description that their Master-Re-Issue Permit is for the Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program.

In addition to obtaining a Master-Re-Issue Permit, the designer must provide proof of insurance coverage as required in the Applicant Agreement.

After a designer obtains a Master Re-Issue Permit for the design and provides satisfactory proof of insurance coverage, the design will be officially selected and pre-approved for use as part of the City’s Pre-Approved ADU Plan Program.

Online Library Listing and Purchase by Homeowners

Once a design is pre-approved, the City will list the design on its online library of pre- approved ADU building designs. Along with the design highlights and images, the City will list the price for the design stated in the application. Homeowners will be able to purchase the design directly from the designer. Beyond the flat design price, designers may charge homeowners other fees related to the preparation or customization of the design for homeowner’s use of design. The designer will retain copyright and all other rights to the design.