Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Downsizing to ADU in Carlsbad Coastal Zone

Carlsbad, CA 92008

Homeowner Story: Downsize to ADU

Special Circumstance: Coastal Zone

Status: Completed
2 Bed
2 Bath
1200 ft 2
One Story

A Carlsbad couple opted to build an ADU in their backyard to take advantage of space and earn some extra rental income. The 1200sqft unit is completely custom and will house the couple while their primary home is rented out. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms offer flexibility and privacy throughout the home, while a large 445sqft office space ensures every inch of the home is utilized. The home is situated within the coastal zone and boasts a large amount of open space, making the property the perfect place for an ADU.


The Carlsbad ADU Guide

Several SnapADU team members live in Carlsbad, and we know the city’s regulations and processes very well. Turnaround times at the city are moderate. Carlsbad requires in-person submissions as well as soils reports (>500 sqft), both of which do add some processing time and expense. Also, some of Carlsbad is in the coastal zone and minor use permits are required in those areas.

What about Carlsbad’s Accessory Dwelling Unit Permit Ready Program?

You may have heard about the City of Carlsbad’s permit ready ADU program. Under the program, the city offers a handful of floor plans that may be used by the public.

However, these plans require property-specific modifications and additional documentation to meet full permitting requirements. While initially seeming cost-effective, pre-approved plans may not offer significant savings due to construction costs and potential design adjustments needed for your specific site. To our knowledge, the permitting time for these plans is also not any different than other ADU plans.

For a detailed exploration of using pre-approved ADU plans and their implications, read more about the considerations for using pre-approved ADU plans from cities.

Learn more about building an ADU in Carlsbad