San Diego ADU Regulations & Zoning

San Diego, California

Zip Codes: 92102, 92103, 92104, 92105, 92106, 92107, 92108, 92109, 92110, 92111, 92113, 92114, 92115, 92116, 92117, 92119, 92126, 92127, 92128, 92129, 92130, 92131, 92139
Neighborhoods: Black Mountain Ranch, Carmel Valley, City Heights, Clairemont, College Grove, Encanto, Grantville, Hillcrest, Kearny Mesa, La Jolla, Linda Vista, Logan Heights, Mira Mesa, Mission Valley, Navajo, Normal Heights, North Park, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Pacific Beach, Pacific Highlands Ranch, Paradise Hills, Point Loma, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, Sabre Springs, Scripps Ranch, Serra Mesa, Sorrento Valley, Tierrasanta, Torrey Hills, University City

San Diego Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in San Diego?

    San Diego 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 San Diego? Can you build a 2-story ADU in San Diego?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 15′. For ADUs located above a garage or other accessory building, the maximum height for flat-roofed structures is 21′ and the maximum structure height for sloped-roofed structures is 30′. Two-story ADUs would be subject to underlying zoning standards.

    Does San Diego allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in San Diego?

    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 San Diego?

    ADUs must comply with the front yard setbacks, with a 0′ side yard and rear setback up to a maximum of 30′ in length (NOTE: SnapADU requires clearance of 4′ from existing structures on property lines to facilitate construction work).

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

    The minimum required distance between structures is not applicable, though fire codes will require special materials when closer than 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, San Diego allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does San Diego require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, San Diego does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does San Diego require coastal development permits?

    Yes, accessory dwelling units developed within the coastal zone are subject to a coastal development permit.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does San Diego allow for multifamily properties?

    Two detached ADUs on multifamily lots, plus a potential bonus of additional units if restricted to low income housing.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

    Yes, you can stack ADUs on top of each other in San Diego.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in San Diego?

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

    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 Carlsbad?

    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 San Diego?

    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 SAN DIEGO
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92102 Golden Hill $1525 $2250 $2925
    92105 City Heights $1550 $2000 $2795
    92111 Linda Vista $1950 $2600 $3100
    92113 Logan Heights $1325 $1800 $2400
    92115 College Grove $1445 $1950 $3400
    92116 Normal Heights $1725 $2995 $3400
    92117 Clairemont $1815 $1975 $3000
    92119 San Carlos $1700 $1975 $2795
    92126 Mira Mesa $1875 $2350 $3000
    92128 Rancho Bernardo $1675 $2475 $3195
    92129 Rancho Bernardo $1800 $2150 $2870
    92130 Carmel Valley $2665 $3405 $4000
    92131 Scripps Ranch $1920 $2360 $3200

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

San Diego ADU Projects:

$200,000

Permitting
Limerick Avenue
San Diego, California 92117
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 744 ft2

$295,000

Permitting
Palm Beach Lane
San Diego, California 92129
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$150,000

Permitting
Appleton Street
San Diego, California 92117
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 482 ft2

$170,000

Permitting
Hastings Road
San Diego, California 92116
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$195,000

Permitting
Coolidge Street
San Diego, California 92111
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 615 ft2

$170,000

Permitting
Cherokee Avenue
San Diego, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$231

Permitting
46th Street
San Diego, California
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 695 ft2

$258

Design
Gila Avenue
San Diego, California 92117
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 743 ft2

$175,000

Design
Rolling Meadows Court
San Diego, California 92128
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$187,000

Design
Gainsborough Avenue
San Diego, California 92129
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 499 ft2

$185,000

Design
Maury Drive
San Diego, California 92119
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 550 ft2

$325,000

Design
Edgemont Street
San Diego, California 92102
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 749 ft2

$450

Design
Grape Street
San Diego, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 578 ft2

San Diego Regulation & Permitting Requirements:

  • ADU SIZE & BUILDING CONSTRAINTS

    What size detached ADU can you build in San Diego?

    San Diego 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 San Diego? Can you build a 2-story ADU in San Diego?

    The height of a detached ADU can be up to 15′. For ADUs located above a garage or other accessory building, the maximum height for flat-roofed structures is 21′ and the maximum structure height for sloped-roofed structures is 30′. Two-story ADUs would be subject to underlying zoning standards.

    Does San Diego allow roof decks on ADUs?

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

    How big can an attached ADU be in San Diego?

    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 San Diego?

    ADUs must comply with the front yard setbacks, with a 0′ side yard and rear setback up to a maximum of 30′ in length (NOTE: SnapADU requires clearance of 4′ from existing structures on property lines to facilitate construction work).

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

    The minimum required distance between structures is not applicable, though fire codes will require special materials when closer than 10′.

  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

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

    No, San Diego allows digital submission of applications for an ADU.

    Does San Diego require a soils report for an ADU?

    No, San Diego does not mandate soils reports for ADUs.

    Does San Diego require coastal development permits?

    Yes, accessory dwelling units developed within the coastal zone are subject to a coastal development permit.

  • MULTIFAMILY

    How many ADUs does San Diego allow for multifamily properties?

    Two detached ADUs on multifamily lots, plus a potential bonus of additional units if restricted to low income housing.

    Can you stack detached ADUs on top of each other?

    Yes, you can stack ADUs on top of each other in San Diego.

    Can you attach two ADUs to each other in San Diego?

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

    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 Carlsbad?

    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 San Diego?

    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 SAN DIEGO
    Zip Neighborhood 1BR 2BR 3BR
    92102 Golden Hill $1525 $2250 $2925
    92105 City Heights $1550 $2000 $2795
    92111 Linda Vista $1950 $2600 $3100
    92113 Logan Heights $1325 $1800 $2400
    92115 College Grove $1445 $1950 $3400
    92116 Normal Heights $1725 $2995 $3400
    92117 Clairemont $1815 $1975 $3000
    92119 San Carlos $1700 $1975 $2795
    92126 Mira Mesa $1875 $2350 $3000
    92128 Rancho Bernardo $1675 $2475 $3195
    92129 Rancho Bernardo $1800 $2150 $2870
    92130 Carmel Valley $2665 $3405 $4000
    92131 Scripps Ranch $1920 $2360 $3200

    Source: Rentometer Nov 2021

San Diego ADU Projects:

$200,000

Permitting
Limerick Avenue
San Diego, California 92117
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 744 ft2

$295,000

Permitting
Palm Beach Lane
San Diego, California 92129
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 1,200 ft2

$150,000

Permitting
Appleton Street
San Diego, California 92117
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 482 ft2

$170,000

Permitting
Hastings Road
San Diego, California 92116
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 495 ft2

$195,000

Permitting
Coolidge Street
San Diego, California 92111
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 615 ft2

$170,000

Permitting
Cherokee Avenue
San Diego, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$231

Permitting
46th Street
San Diego, California
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 695 ft2

$258

Design
Gila Avenue
San Diego, California 92117
2 Bed • 2 Bath • 743 ft2

$175,000

Design
Rolling Meadows Court
San Diego, California 92128
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 498 ft2

$187,000

Design
Gainsborough Avenue
San Diego, California 92129
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 499 ft2

$185,000

Design
Maury Drive
San Diego, California 92119
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 550 ft2

$325,000

Design
Edgemont Street
San Diego, California 92102
2 Bed • 1 Bath • 749 ft2

$450

Design
Grape Street
San Diego, California
1 Bed • 1 Bath • 578 ft2