Poway ADU Regulations & Zoning

Poway, California

Zip Codes: 92064
Neighborhoods: Old Poway

Our quick take on Poway: Moderately ADU-Friendly


SnapADU has permitted or is in the process of permitting numerous projects within the city, and we know the city's regulations and processes very well. Turnaround times at the city are moderate. The City of Poway, unlike most other jurisdictions, is strict in its requirement for architectural consistency between the ADU and the primary structure - in other words, the ADU siding, roof & trim must be consistent with the main residence. They will also require a floor plan of the existing residence to confirm there is not an existing attached accessory dwelling unit. Clients should anticipate regular permit fees, as plan check, building permit, and impact fees are not waived for ADUs >750 sqft (Impact fees will be proportional to the size of the primary dwelling). Poway requires in-person submissions and soils reports, which do add some processing time and expense.

Poway Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Poway?

    Poway allows for a detached ADU of up to 1200-1500 sqft. If you are building larger than 1200 sqft, the unit may only be up to 50% of the floor area of the Single Family Residence (SFR). 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 Poway?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′ and one story, unless the ADU meets the required setbacks for the SFR, in which case the height can match existing residence.

    Can you build a 2-story ADU in Poway?

    You can build a two-story ADU in Poway at a height the same as the existing residence, so long as it conforms to the setbacks for the primary residence.

    Does Poway allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in Poway?

    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?

    Poway requires architectural consistency between the ADU and the primary structure. The exterior roofing, trim, walls, windows and the color palette of the ADU shall incorporate the same features as the primary dwelling unit. Note that this can add some expense beyond our standard build prices, which includes stucco, asphalt shingles and white vinyl windows.

  • SETBACKS

    What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Poway?

    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 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

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

    Does Poway require a soils report for an ADU?

    Yes, as of a July 2022 email from the Planning department, Poway mandates soils reports for all new structures, including ADUs.

    Does Poway require coastal development permits?

    No areas are subject to Coastal requirements.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Poway allow for multifamily properties?

    Up to two detached accessory dwelling units shall be permitted on a lot with an existing multifamily dwelling.

    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 Poway?

    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 Poway?

    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 Poway?

    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 POWAY
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92064 Caramel Mtn. Ranch $1795 $2010 $2995

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

Poway ADU Projects:

$190,000

Featured
Montauk Street
Poway, California 92064
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$280,000

Construction
Old Winery Road
Poway, California 92064
1 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$195,000

Construction
Bronco Lane
Poway, California 92064
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$280,000

Design
Avenida La Valencia
Poway, California
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 999 ft2

Poway Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in Poway?

    Poway allows for a detached ADU of up to 1200-1500 sqft. If you are building larger than 1200 sqft, the unit may only be up to 50% of the floor area of the Single Family Residence (SFR). 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 Poway?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 16′ and one story, unless the ADU meets the required setbacks for the SFR, in which case the height can match existing residence.

    Can you build a 2-story ADU in Poway?

    You can build a two-story ADU in Poway at a height the same as the existing residence, so long as it conforms to the setbacks for the primary residence.

    Does Poway allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in Poway?

    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?

    Poway requires architectural consistency between the ADU and the primary structure. The exterior roofing, trim, walls, windows and the color palette of the ADU shall incorporate the same features as the primary dwelling unit. Note that this can add some expense beyond our standard build prices, which includes stucco, asphalt shingles and white vinyl windows.

  • SETBACKS

    What is the setback requirement for an ADU in Poway?

    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 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

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

    Does Poway require a soils report for an ADU?

    Yes, as of a July 2022 email from the Planning department, Poway mandates soils reports for all new structures, including ADUs.

    Does Poway require coastal development permits?

    No areas are subject to Coastal requirements.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does Poway allow for multifamily properties?

    Up to two detached accessory dwelling units shall be permitted on a lot with an existing multifamily dwelling.

    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 Poway?

    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 Poway?

    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 Poway?

    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 POWAY
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92064 Caramel Mtn. Ranch $1795 $2010 $2995

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

Poway ADU Projects:

$190,000

Featured
Montauk Street
Poway, California 92064
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 750 ft2

$280,000

Construction
Old Winery Road
Poway, California 92064
1 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,000 ft2

$195,000

Construction
Bronco Lane
Poway, California 92064
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$280,000

Design
Avenida La Valencia
Poway, California
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 999 ft2