What you can build

Coronado ADU Regulations & Zoning


Size and Separation

Maximum size 1,000 square feet

Side/rear setbacks 4 feet

Two story No

Building separation 10 feet

Additional Requirements

Soils Report No

Building Verification Survey No

Coastal permit (in some areas) Yes

Stormwater Mitigation No

Number of ADUs Allowed

How many ADUs can you build in Coronado?

On Coronado single-family residential lots, you may build one ADU (either attached or detached) and one Junior ADU (JADUs have an owner occupancy requirement and must be converted from existing space within the primary residence).

How many ADUs does Coronado allow for multifamily properties?

Coronado allows up to 2 detached ADUs for multifamily lots with an existing multi-family building. (Meaning: In order to build 2 ADUs, the property must already have at least a duplex on it, not just a single family dwelling)

Non‐livable space within existing multi‐family structures may be converted into an ADU. Examples of areas that can be converted include storage rooms and garage spaces. The maximum number of ADU allowed in a multi‐family structure is equal to 25% of the number of existing multi‐family units in the structure. Fractional units are rounded down. A minimum of one conversion ADU is allowed.

ADU Size & Building Constraints

What size detached ADU can you build in Coronado?

Coronado allows for a detached ADU up to 850 sqft for units with 1 bedroom, and up to 1000 sqft for 2+ bedrooms. ADUs up to 800 sqft are exempt from lot coverage requirements. (Meaning: You can build an ADU of this size even if you’re maxed out on lot coverages).

What is the height requirement for an ADU in Coronado?

A new detached ADU or an addition to an existing detached structure for an ADU shall not exceed 16’. However, ADUs attached to the primary dwelling are subject to the height requirements of the primary dwelling and may allow for a 2-story ADU.

Also, per recent state law change, detached ADUs within half a mile of major transit stops or high-quality transit corridors can be 18 feet tall. An additional 2 feet can be added if the ADU’s roof pitch matches the primary dwelling.

Read more about two story ADUs and height limits.

How big can an attached ADU be in Coronado?

The floor area of an attached or detached ADU shall not exceed 850 square feet for a studio or one bedroom or 1,000 square feet for a unit that contains more than one bedroom.

What are the requirements of the exterior of the ADU?

An ADU shall utilize the same architectural style, exterior materials, and colors as the existing or proposed primary dwelling, and the quality of the materials shall be the same or exceed that of the primary dwelling.


What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Coronado?

ADUs must have 4′ minimum setbacks, or the applicable setback for the zone district, whichever is less, from rear and side-yard property lines. The front yard no longer has setbacks, pursuant to state law amendments as of September 2022. An ADU taking advantage of the 4′ setbacks cannot exceed a height of 16′. An ADU exceeding 16′ must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zoning. In all cases, an ADU shall comply with the required coastal bluff setback in the Coastal Bluff Overlay Zone and the required Beach reservation.

Initiative setback in the Beach Overlay Zone: Properties located between the ocean and the 1st public roadway shall comply with the street yard setback of the applicable zone where necessary to protect public scenic views to the ocean.

What is the minimum distance the ADU must be from existing structures?

The minimum required distance between structures is not applicable, though fire codes may require special materials when closer than 10′.

Additional Requirements

Does Coronado require in-person submission of plans for an ADU?

Yes, Coronado requires in-person submission of applications for an ADU.

Does Coronado require in-person submission of plans for an ADU?

Yes, Coronado requires in-person submission of plans and does not accept digital applications at this time.

Does Coronado require a soils report for an ADU?

No, Coronado does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

Does Coronado require coastal development permits?

California Gov. Code § 65852.2 provides that the ADU statutes do not supersede or in any way alter or lessen the effect or application of the California Coastal Act, except that the city shall not be required to hold public hearings for Coastal Development Permit applications for ADUs. Because the city has an approved Local Coastal Development Plan, all permits are the same and no separate CDP is required.

Read more about ADUs in the coastal zone.

Can you rent out an ADU in Coronado?

Accessory dwelling units shall only be used for rentals of terms of six consecutive months or more in Coronado.


How many ADUs does Coronado allow for multifamily properties?

Up to two detached accessory dwelling units shall be permitted on a lot with an existing multifamily dwelling, not to exceed 18′ in height, and four-foot side and rear yard setbacks are maintained. A separate application is required for every JADU and ADU.

Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

No, you cannot stack ADUs on top of each other in Coronado. The height limit for multifamily is 16′.

Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Coronado?

No, you cannot attach two ADUs to each other in Coronado.

Can you convert existing space to an ADU?

Yes, existing non-livable space may be converted to ADUs (e.g. storage areas and garages). The minimum number of ADU conversions allowed is one, up to a maximum equal to 25% of the number of existing multifamily units. This is in addition to the allowed number of detached ADUs.


What is the parking requirement for an ADU in Coronado?

The City’s Certified Local Coastal Program (LCP), approved in 1983, mandates certain parking requirements to be met, including the number of off-street parking spaces for dwellings, to ensure and maintain public access to the coast. The California Coastal Act of 1976 is neither superseded nor in any way altered or lessened as provided for in Government Code Section 65852.2(I).

To ensure compliance with the California Coastal Act of 1976 and the approved LCP, a maximum of one (1) parking space shall be required for each accessory dwelling unit. No additional parking is required for a JADU.

Where can a parking space be located?

If a parking space is required, it may be located within the side and rear setbacks and in an existing driveway as tandem parking. ADU parking within the front yard setback area is limited to within an existing driveway. If an ADU or JADU replaces an existing garage or other required parking, replacement spaces shall be provided.

Watch our ADU 101 Webinar

Thinking about building an ADU in San Diego and want to learn more about the whole process? We’d love to help make sure you know exactly how it all works in our on-demand webinar led by SnapADU co-founder, Whitney Hill. Hear the top tips from expert ADU builders.