Encinitas ADU Regulations & Zoning

Encinitas, California

Zip Codes: 92007, 92024, 92075
Neighborhoods: Cardiff, Leucadia, Olivenhain

Our quick take on Encinitas: ADU-Friendly


We have many projects in Encinitas and we know the city's regulations and processes very well. Turnaround times at the city are very slow now due to short staffing. However, their digital submissions process is easier than most cities and fees are negligible. We are also seeing fewer requirements for minor use permits in the coastal zone. Encinitas has also put out "permit ready" plans (PRADU), which some homeowners have found helpful as a starting place for their ADU designs. The greatest attribute of Encinitas is that nearly all plan check and building permit fees have been waived for ADUs.

Encinitas Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Encinitas?

    Encinitas allows for a detached ADU up to 1200 sqft. 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 Encinitas? Can you build a 2-story ADU in Encinitas?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′, with any units above a garage subject to height limits and setbacks of underlying zoning. (Meaning: You can build an ADU over a garage, but you will need to stick with regular setbacks, not the reduced 4′ setbacks).

    Does Encinitas allow roof decks on ADUs?

    No, roof decks are not permitted on detached ADUs in Encinitas.

    How big can an attached ADU be in Encinitas?

    The square footage of any attached ADU may not to exceed 50% of the primary dwelling square footage, or 1,200 sqft, whichever is less, but not less than 800 square feet.

    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.

  • SETBACKS

    What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Encinitas?

    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 not applicable, though fire codes may require special materials when closer than 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, Encinitas allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does Encinitas require a soils report for an ADU?

    Yes, as of June 2022, Encinitas has stated that a soils report is required for all new structures, including new detached ADUs.

    Does Encinitas require coastal development permits?

    We are seeing fewer requirements for minor use permits in the coastal zone. However, accessory dwelling units developed within the coastal zone are subject to requirements of the Local Coastal Program (LCP).

    Does Encinitas require storm water mitigation?

    Yes, Encinitas requires site drainage and storm water mitigation for ADUs >500 sqft. Finish grading work to create a bio-swale, drainage basin or other contouring work to handle on-site storm water will cost around $5K in most cases.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Encinitas allow for multifamily properties?

    Up to 2 detached ADUs on a multifamily lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

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

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Encinitas?

    Yes, you can attach two ADUs to each other in Encinitas.

    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.

  • PARKING

    What is the parking requirement for an ADU in Encinitas?

    A parking space is not required for an ADU in any of the following instances:
    o Within a one-half mile walking distance from public transit, which includes bus stops.
    o Within an established historic district.
    o 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.

  • RENT RATES

    How much will an ADU rent for in Encinitas?

    Below are median rental prices by zip code and bedroom count. Be sure to run comps for your specific area or check with a realtor.

    RENT RATES IN ENCINITAS
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92007 Cardiff $2095 $2800 $4400
    92024 Leucadia / Olivenhain $2000 $3000 $4500

Encinitas ADU Projects:

$295,000

Featured
Double Ll Ranch Road
Encinitas, California 92024
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$155,000

Featured
Munevar Road
Encinitas, California 92007
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$300,000

Completed
Hillcrest Drive
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 610 ft2

$160,000

Completed
Sunrich Lane
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$155,000

Completed
Wilstone Avenue
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 499 ft2

$220,000

Construction
Manchester Avenue
Encinitas, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$280,000

Permitting
Starlight Drive
Encinitas, California 92007
3 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$235,000

Design
Peartree Court
Encinitas, California 92024
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 743 ft2

Encinitas Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Encinitas?

    Encinitas allows for a detached ADU up to 1200 sqft. 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 Encinitas? Can you build a 2-story ADU in Encinitas?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′, with any units above a garage subject to height limits and setbacks of underlying zoning. (Meaning: You can build an ADU over a garage, but you will need to stick with regular setbacks, not the reduced 4′ setbacks).

    Does Encinitas allow roof decks on ADUs?

    No, roof decks are not permitted on detached ADUs in Encinitas.

    How big can an attached ADU be in Encinitas?

    The square footage of any attached ADU may not to exceed 50% of the primary dwelling square footage, or 1,200 sqft, whichever is less, but not less than 800 square feet.

    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.

  • SETBACKS

    What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Encinitas?

    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 not applicable, though fire codes may require special materials when closer than 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, Encinitas allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does Encinitas require a soils report for an ADU?

    Yes, as of June 2022, Encinitas has stated that a soils report is required for all new structures, including new detached ADUs.

    Does Encinitas require coastal development permits?

    We are seeing fewer requirements for minor use permits in the coastal zone. However, accessory dwelling units developed within the coastal zone are subject to requirements of the Local Coastal Program (LCP).

    Does Encinitas require storm water mitigation?

    Yes, Encinitas requires site drainage and storm water mitigation for ADUs >500 sqft. Finish grading work to create a bio-swale, drainage basin or other contouring work to handle on-site storm water will cost around $5K in most cases.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Encinitas allow for multifamily properties?

    Up to 2 detached ADUs on a multifamily lot that has an existing multifamily dwelling.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

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

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Encinitas?

    Yes, you can attach two ADUs to each other in Encinitas.

    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.

  • PARKING

    What is the parking requirement for an ADU in Encinitas?

    A parking space is not required for an ADU in any of the following instances:
    o Within a one-half mile walking distance from public transit, which includes bus stops.
    o Within an established historic district.
    o 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.

  • RENT RATES

    How much will an ADU rent for in Encinitas?

    Below are median rental prices by zip code and bedroom count. Be sure to run comps for your specific area or check with a realtor.

    RENT RATES IN ENCINITAS
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92007 Cardiff $2095 $2800 $4400
    92024 Leucadia / Olivenhain $2000 $3000 $4500

Encinitas ADU Projects:

$295,000

Featured
Double Ll Ranch Road
Encinitas, California 92024
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$155,000

Featured
Munevar Road
Encinitas, California 92007
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$300,000

Completed
Hillcrest Drive
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 610 ft2

$160,000

Completed
Sunrich Lane
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$155,000

Completed
Wilstone Avenue
Encinitas, California 92024
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 499 ft2

$220,000

Construction
Manchester Avenue
Encinitas, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$280,000

Permitting
Starlight Drive
Encinitas, California 92007
3 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$235,000

Design
Peartree Court
Encinitas, California 92024
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 743 ft2