What you can build

Solana Beach ADU Regulations & Zoning


Size and Separation

Maximum size 1,000 square feet

Side/rear setbacks 4 feet

Two story No

Building separation 6 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 Solana Beach?

On Solana Beach 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 Solana Beach allow for multifamily properties?

Solana Beach 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 ADU can you build in Solana Beach?

Solana Beach allows for a detached or attached ADU up to 850 sqft for units with 1 bedroom, and up to 1000 sqft for 2+ bedrooms. ADUs up to 800 square feet 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 Solana Beach? Can you build a 2-story ADU in Solana Beach?

The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′.

Also, per recent state law change, detached ADUs within half a mile of major transit stops or high-quality transit corridors can use 4′ side & rear setbacks, up to 18 feet tall. An additional 2 feet can be added if the ADU’s roof pitch matches the primary dwelling. This 18’+2′ limit would allow for a two story unit.

Read more about two story ADUs and height limits.

What are the requirements of the exterior of the ADU?

The exterior roofing, trim, walls, windows and the color palette of the ADU shall incorporate the same features as the primary dwelling unit. Unique to Solana Beach, “the primary entrance to the ADU shall not be visible from the street adjacent to the front yard setback.” Also, ADU parking in setback areas visible from the street shall be screened by vegetation that has a maximum maturity height of 42″.


What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Solana Beach?

ADUs must have 4′ minimum setbacks from rear and side-yard property lines, with front yard setback per zoning standards. An ADU taking advantage of the 4′ setbacks cannot exceed a height of 16 feet. An ADU exceeding 16′ must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zoning.

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

The minimum required distance between structures is 6′ (eave to eave), with a minimum of 10′ (eave to eave) from the entrance of an ADU if it is facing the wall of another structure on the property.

Additional Requirements

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

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

Does Solana Beach require a soils report for an ADU?

No, Solana Beach does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

Does Solana Beach require coastal development permits?

Yes, accessory dwelling units developed within the coastal zone are subject to requirements of the Local Coastal Program (LCP), though processing may be handled in parallel with building permits.

Read more about ADUs in the coastal zone.


How many ADUs does Solana Beach 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 16′ in height

Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

No, you cannot stack ADUs on top of each other in Solana Beach.

Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Solana Beach?

It is currently undetermined if two detached ADUs can be attached to each other; this will be subject to city interpretation.

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 Solana Beach?

A parking space is not required for an ADU in any of the following instances:

  • Within a one-half mile walking distance from public transit, which includes bus stops.
  • Within an established historic district.
  • Converted from the existing space of a primary residence or accessory structure, or are attached to an existing or proposed primary residence.
Where can a parking space be located?

If a parking space is required, it may be located within the setbacks and in an existing driveway as tandem parking. Parking spaces don’t need to be replaced when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished in conjunction with the construction of an ADU or converted to an ADU.