Oceanside ADU Regulations & Zoning

Oceanside, California

Zip Codes: 92054, 92056, 92057, 92058
Neighborhoods: Fire Mountain, Ivey Ranch, Rancho Del Oro, Mission Mesa, East Side, Capistrano, Guajome, Mira Costa, Morro Hills, North Valley, Ocean Hills, San Luis Rey, South Oceanside, Loma Alta, Seaside

Our quick take on Oceanside: ADU-Friendly


With SnapADU based in Oceanside, we know the city's regulations and processes very well. Oceanside allows for digital submissions. Turnaround times at the city are faster than other nearby cities. However, Oceanside ADU regulations are a bit more restrictive than some areas, for instance permitting 4' setbacks for up to a 1000sqft unit; 1200sqft is allowed but subject to setbacks for the underlying zone. Some of Oceanside is in the coastal zone and minor use permits are required in those areas, but may be processed in parallel with the building permit (so delays are minimal).

Oceanside Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Oceanside?

    Per Oceanside ADU ordinance, you can build a detached ADU up to 1200 sqft. ADUs up to 1000 sqft are granted reduced setbacks, while ADUs up to 1200 sqft are subject to standard height, lot coverage, and setbacks for the underlying zone. 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 Oceanside? Can you build a 2-story ADU in Oceanside?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′, or must comply with the setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located. (Meaning: You can build a taller ADU, but you will need to stick with regular setbacks, not the reduced 4′ setbacks).

    Does Oceanside allow roof decks on ADUs?

    Yes, roof decks are permitted in accordance with underlying zoning (e.g. height limits of the zone).

    How big can an attached ADU be in Oceanside?

    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 Oceanside?

    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 1000 sqft. ADUs exceeding 1000 sqft must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zone.

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

    While there is no specific code written regarding distance between structures outside the coastal zone, the city typically adheres to 6′ between structures (per a senior planner at the City of Oceanside in February 2022). The minimum required distance between structures is 10′ in the Coastal Zone (City of Oceanside Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance – Article 10C Coastal Residential Districts, Additional Development Regulations (Z)(4)).

    Also, if the ADU is between 5 to 10 feet away from the primary residence, one of the structures need to be of fire-resistant construction. If beyond 10 feet from the primary residence, neither building is required to be of fire-resistant construction (per an assistant building official at the City of Oceanside in May 2022).

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

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

    Does Oceanside require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, Oceanside does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does Oceanside require coastal development permits?

    Generally if ADUs are more than 300 feet outside of the coastline – even if in the coastal zone – the project will only need a building permit and do not need a coastal development permit (CDP). Those within 300 feet will need a CDP but no hearing is required.

    As of July 2022, the City of Oceanside Planning Division has stated that based on past agreement with Coastal Commission staff, all ADUs built within the CCC Appeal Jurisdiction of the City’s Coastal Zone are subject to a Coastal Development Permit, except no hearing is required. Oceanside’s Appeal Jurisdiction Area is generally within 300 feet of the coastline.

    The City reviews the proposed ADU for compliance with the Local Coastal Program and the Coastal Act during Building Permit Plan Check. Prior to issuing the building permit, the Planning Division sends a notice to surrounding property owners and the Coastal Commission, indicating that the City intends to approve an ADU. The permit can be appealed directly to the Coastal Commission within 20 days of the notice. ADUs outside of the Appeal Jurisdiction are not subject to a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and only need a building permit.

    The CDP is not a traditional coastal permit and the city does not require a separate fee. The applicant must provide a mailing list of surrounding property owners. The submittal process is simply applying for a building permit and the Planning Division will provide instructions during plan check.

    Can you rent out your ADU for a short-term rental in Oceanside?

    You may rent out the ADU for periods of more than 30 days. The City of Oceanside also prohibits you from renting out your primary residence as a short-term rental if you have an ADU on your property (that was permitted after September 9, 2017).

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Oceanside allow for multifamily properties?

    On properties with an existing multifamily development, you may build up to two detached ADUs with a maximum size of 850 square-feet, or 1,000 square-feet with more than one bedroom, and a maximum height of 16 feet and four-foot side and rear setbacks.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

    No, unless the ADUs meet the required setbacks for the SFR, in which case the height may be allowed to match the existing residence.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Oceanside?

    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 Oceanside?

    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.

  • RENT RATES

    How much will an ADU rent for in Oceanside?

    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 OCEANSIDE
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92054 Fire Mountain $1,685 $1,995 $2,650
    92056 Tri City $1,895 $2,145 $3,000
    92057 North Valley $1,795 $2,100 $2,775
    92058 Loma Alta $1,580 $2,300 $2,650

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

Oceanside ADU Projects:

$190,000

Featured
Toopal Drive
Oceanside, California 92058
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$265,000

Featured
Canyon Drive
Oceanside, California
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,080 ft2

$332,000

Completed
California Street
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$165,000

Completed
Glenwood Drive
Oceanside, California 92057
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 560 ft2

$350,000

Completed
Leonard Avenue
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 900 ft2

$135,000

Completed
Burroughs Street
Oceanside, California 92054
0 Bed • 1 Bath • 325 ft2

$322,500

Construction
South Ditmar Street
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$315,000

Permitting
Kelly Street
Oceanside, California 92054
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$336,000

Design
Felinda Way
Oceanside, California 92056
3 Bed • 3 Bath • 1,194 ft2

$255,000

Design
Avenida De Loyola
Oceanside, California 92056
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 749 ft2

$325,000

Design
Dubuque Street
Oceanside, California 92058
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 993 ft2

$285,000

Design
Yucca Road
Oceanside, California 92054
3 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,197 ft2

Oceanside Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Oceanside?

    Per Oceanside ADU ordinance, you can build a detached ADU up to 1200 sqft. ADUs up to 1000 sqft are granted reduced setbacks, while ADUs up to 1200 sqft are subject to standard height, lot coverage, and setbacks for the underlying zone. 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 Oceanside? Can you build a 2-story ADU in Oceanside?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′, or must comply with the setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located. (Meaning: You can build a taller ADU, but you will need to stick with regular setbacks, not the reduced 4′ setbacks).

    Does Oceanside allow roof decks on ADUs?

    Yes, roof decks are permitted in accordance with underlying zoning (e.g. height limits of the zone).

    How big can an attached ADU be in Oceanside?

    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 Oceanside?

    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 1000 sqft. ADUs exceeding 1000 sqft must comply with the setbacks of the underlying zone.

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

    While there is no specific code written regarding distance between structures outside the coastal zone, the city typically adheres to 6′ between structures (per a senior planner at the City of Oceanside in February 2022). The minimum required distance between structures is 10′ in the Coastal Zone (City of Oceanside Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance – Article 10C Coastal Residential Districts, Additional Development Regulations (Z)(4)).

    Also, if the ADU is between 5 to 10 feet away from the primary residence, one of the structures need to be of fire-resistant construction. If beyond 10 feet from the primary residence, neither building is required to be of fire-resistant construction (per an assistant building official at the City of Oceanside in May 2022).

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

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

    Does Oceanside require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, Oceanside does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does Oceanside require coastal development permits?

    Generally if ADUs are more than 300 feet outside of the coastline – even if in the coastal zone – the project will only need a building permit and do not need a coastal development permit (CDP). Those within 300 feet will need a CDP but no hearing is required.

    As of July 2022, the City of Oceanside Planning Division has stated that based on past agreement with Coastal Commission staff, all ADUs built within the CCC Appeal Jurisdiction of the City’s Coastal Zone are subject to a Coastal Development Permit, except no hearing is required. Oceanside’s Appeal Jurisdiction Area is generally within 300 feet of the coastline.

    The City reviews the proposed ADU for compliance with the Local Coastal Program and the Coastal Act during Building Permit Plan Check. Prior to issuing the building permit, the Planning Division sends a notice to surrounding property owners and the Coastal Commission, indicating that the City intends to approve an ADU. The permit can be appealed directly to the Coastal Commission within 20 days of the notice. ADUs outside of the Appeal Jurisdiction are not subject to a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) and only need a building permit.

    The CDP is not a traditional coastal permit and the city does not require a separate fee. The applicant must provide a mailing list of surrounding property owners. The submittal process is simply applying for a building permit and the Planning Division will provide instructions during plan check.

    Can you rent out your ADU for a short-term rental in Oceanside?

    You may rent out the ADU for periods of more than 30 days. The City of Oceanside also prohibits you from renting out your primary residence as a short-term rental if you have an ADU on your property (that was permitted after September 9, 2017).

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Oceanside allow for multifamily properties?

    On properties with an existing multifamily development, you may build up to two detached ADUs with a maximum size of 850 square-feet, or 1,000 square-feet with more than one bedroom, and a maximum height of 16 feet and four-foot side and rear setbacks.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

    No, unless the ADUs meet the required setbacks for the SFR, in which case the height may be allowed to match the existing residence.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in Oceanside?

    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 Oceanside?

    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.

  • RENT RATES

    How much will an ADU rent for in Oceanside?

    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 OCEANSIDE
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92054 Fire Mountain $1,685 $1,995 $2,650
    92056 Tri City $1,895 $2,145 $3,000
    92057 North Valley $1,795 $2,100 $2,775
    92058 Loma Alta $1,580 $2,300 $2,650

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

Oceanside ADU Projects:

$190,000

Featured
Toopal Drive
Oceanside, California 92058
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$265,000

Featured
Canyon Drive
Oceanside, California
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,080 ft2

$332,000

Completed
California Street
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$165,000

Completed
Glenwood Drive
Oceanside, California 92057
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 560 ft2

$350,000

Completed
Leonard Avenue
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 900 ft2

$135,000

Completed
Burroughs Street
Oceanside, California 92054
0 Bed • 1 Bath • 325 ft2

$322,500

Construction
South Ditmar Street
Oceanside, California 92054
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$315,000

Permitting
Kelly Street
Oceanside, California 92054
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$336,000

Design
Felinda Way
Oceanside, California 92056
3 Bed • 3 Bath • 1,194 ft2

$255,000

Design
Avenida De Loyola
Oceanside, California 92056
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 749 ft2

$325,000

Design
Dubuque Street
Oceanside, California 92058
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 993 ft2

$285,000

Design
Yucca Road
Oceanside, California 92054
3 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,197 ft2