La Mesa ADU Regulations & Zoning

La Mesa, California

Zip Codes: 91941, 91942
Neighborhoods: Grossmont, Rolando Village

Our quick take on La Mesa: ADU-Friendly


SnapADU has permitted numerous ADUs in the City of La Mesa, and we know the city's regulations and processes very well. La Mesa allows for digital submissions with a clear tracking system. Turnaround times at the city are relatively quick and the city staff is very helpful.

La Mesa Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in La Mesa?

    La Mesa allows for a detached ADU up to 1,200 sqft. Lot coverages are subject to underlying zoning. On lots of 10,000 sqft or less, lot coverage may increase by 5% for ADU projects (45%). An 800 sqft ADU must be permitted regardless of lot covereage. 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 La Mesa? Can you build a 2-story ADU in La Mesa?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′ and one story, unless the ADU meets the required setbacks for the underlying zoning.

    Does La Mesa allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in La Mesa?

    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 La Mesa?

    ADUs must have 4′ minimum setbacks from rear and side-yard property lines, with front yard setback per zoning standards.

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

    The minimum required distance between structures is 6′ from existing structures.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, La Mesa allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does La Mesa require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, La Mesa does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does La Mesa require coastal development permits?

    No areas are subject to Coastal requirements.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does La Mesa 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?

    Code does not specify, and this has yet to be tested with the city.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in La Mesa?

    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.

  • PARKING

    What is the parking requirement for an ADU in La Mesa?

    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 La Mesa?

    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 LA MESA
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    91941 Grossmont $1715 $1995 $2950
    91942 Rolando Village $1535 $2100 $2625

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

La Mesa ADU Projects:

$155,000

Construction
Dana Drive
La Mesa, California 91942
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 500 ft2

La Mesa Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in La Mesa?

    La Mesa allows for a detached ADU up to 1,200 sqft. Lot coverages are subject to underlying zoning. On lots of 10,000 sqft or less, lot coverage may increase by 5% for ADU projects (45%). An 800 sqft ADU must be permitted regardless of lot covereage. 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 La Mesa? Can you build a 2-story ADU in La Mesa?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′ and one story, unless the ADU meets the required setbacks for the underlying zoning.

    Does La Mesa allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in La Mesa?

    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 La Mesa?

    ADUs must have 4′ minimum setbacks from rear and side-yard property lines, with front yard setback per zoning standards.

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

    The minimum required distance between structures is 6′ from existing structures.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, La Mesa allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does La Mesa require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, La Mesa does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does La Mesa require coastal development permits?

    No areas are subject to Coastal requirements.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does La Mesa 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?

    Code does not specify, and this has yet to be tested with the city.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in La Mesa?

    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.

  • PARKING

    What is the parking requirement for an ADU in La Mesa?

    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 La Mesa?

    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 LA MESA
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    91941 Grossmont $1715 $1995 $2950
    91942 Rolando Village $1535 $2100 $2625

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

La Mesa ADU Projects:

$155,000

Construction
Dana Drive
La Mesa, California 91942
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 500 ft2