ADU Zoning in San Diego

Get Help with ADU Zoning in San Diego

Looking for help with ADU Zoning in San Diego? In 2017, Accessory Dwelling Unit regulation were amended to lower design and construction restrictions. Since 2017, the topic of ADU requirements has made local news headlines on many occasions. Before the long Fourth of July weekend in 2021, the La Jolla Community Planning Association met to discuss the future of San Diego ADU regulations.

As of now, San Diego ADU zoning regulations are currently on hold for coastal communities. It is important to note, accessory dwelling ADU zoning in San Diego and its regulations are not precisely the same at the state, county, and city levels. Consequently, the varying levels of government regulation has residential homes in La Jolla excluded from the new rules. Homeowners should become familiar with these regulations. Especially if they are interested in boosting the value of their properties, California residents need to pay close attention.

Adding Value to Your Home with an ADU

If you are looking to add value to your home with an ADU, you will need to become familiar with the San Diego ADU zoning laws in your area. Our ADU specialists at Organic ADU can help you throughout the whole process of building an accessory dwelling unit.

We are a San Diego-based real estate group that specializes in helping homeowners add value to their properties with ADU’s. California’s current laws facilitate homeowners to build additional living space to add an additional unit to their home for a lower cost.

Understanding Zoning Laws and Regulations

Through our San Diego ADU services, we help you understand and abide the most up-to-date zoning laws and regulations to build your new ADU. We take the guesswork out of the whole process and ensure the project runs smoothly.

We are here to assist you in navigating through the zoning and permits with complete assurance and ease.

The Basics Of ADUs In San Diego

In essence, ADUs are small residential structures. Accessory Dwelling Units provide independent living opportunities for. ADUs are located within the same lot as another property. ADUs may be referred to as “mother-in-law apartments,” “casitas,” or “granny flats.” ADU zoning in San Diego is evolving with recent modifications to ADU zoning laws.

ADU zoning regulations can vary from state-to-state. Additionally, ADU zoning regulations can vary from county-to-county, and city-to-city. Here in San Diego, the intent of regulating ADUs is apparent. We say this, because it is intrinsically tied to the matter of affordable housing. By contrast, ADUs are not meant to be storage sheds. However, the idea is for the unit to provide additional added value and space. These residential structures can be leased. However under current ADU zoning laws, an ADU cannot be utilized as an Airbnb.

In addition to ADUs, the City of San Diego allows the construction of Junior Accessory Dwelling Units. JADUs are smaller. They are not required to have a bathroom. By their smaller sizes, JADUs cannot provide the same level of independence as a larger ADU. Still, they can certainly help alleviate the shortage of affordable housing opportunities in Southern California. For the past couple of years, Southern California has been going through a housing crisis where affordable housing is scarce.

What Is ADU Zoning?

An ADU is a smaller stand-alone, independent (detached) residential dwelling unit built on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs provide an opportunity for homeowners and tenants to increase affordable housing. It provides people with a greater choice of housing alternatives in the neighborhood. 

ADUs have also brought together families that love living close together while saving money. It has also made it possible for homeowners to supplement their income by renting out their houses. It has provided significant relief to people who have elderly loved ones who require special care but cannot afford a nursing facility.

ADU permits and zoning dictates the type of unit that can be built on the property. In San Diego, you need permits to build an ADU on your property. These regulations are intended to guide the homeowner ont parking requirements, occupancy numbers, the size of the unit, and if the owner is required to live on the property.

Zoning rules take into account standards such as the minimum lot size necessary and whether numerous ADUs can be erected on a single-family property. Other rules govern the type of ADU, design, and size.

Knowing all the zoning regulations can be overwhelming. At Organic ADU our specialists will guide you step by step with the whole process to build your new accessory dwelling unit ADUs.

Where In San Diego Can You Build ADUs?

ADUs are built just about anywhere within the city where residential use adu zoning has been established. Listed for reference, you can refer to Chapter 13 of the San Diego Municipal Code. Specifically, refer and review Article 1. You will learn more about residential zoning after reading Article 1. The San Diego Zoning and Parcel Information Portal allows you to input a street address. After entering an address, information regarding the property address’s zoning is then displayed.

ADU Zoning Laws in San Diego

ADU zoning regulations in California have recently changed due to a change in state legislation. It is now considerably easier to convert a residentially zoned property into a separate unit.

When building ADUs in San Diego, a building permit is required to ensure that the new ADU meets all building, zoning, minimum lot sizes, health, and safety codes. The city allows an ADU to be attached to the primary residence and may be up to 50% of the size of the single-family home, up to a maximum of 1,200 square feet in size no matter the size of the established property.

San Diego developed permit-ready design requirements for property owners who want to build an ADU on their land in 2018. The considerably lowered expenses for starting a new ADU building project are a considerable improvement over prior zoning regulations.

Our professionals at Organic ADU remain up to date on the most recent San Diego ADU zoning rules and legislation. When you are ready to begin your ADU project, we give the most efficient service. You don’t have to navigate through your ADU addition alone, and  we’re here to make the procedure as simple and clear as possible.

Do you have more questions about ADU zoning laws? Call us for a consultation to learn more about ADU Zoning in San Diego today!

Frequently Asked Questions About San Diego ADU Zoning

What Are ADU Zoning Laws in San Diego?

ADU zoning ordinances can be found within Chapter 12 of the San Diego Municipal Code, on Article 9, Division 2. Further reading, Chapter 14 of the California Building Code also covers ADUs. Additionally, find applicable laws relating to zoning which are found within Chapter 13 and Chapter 15 of the San Diego Municipal Code. After proper zoning, ADUs can be built just about anywhere within the city where residential use zoning has been established. As for JADUs, they can be made in zones deemed for single-family homes. Many homeowners who previously considered expanding the living space of their properties are now contemplating ADUs instead. Particularly, if homeowners are expecting to live with their elderly parents. In some cases, homeowners find themselves in a situation offering living space to extended family members. In other cases, homeowners end up offering living space to their adult children and their partners.

What Are The ADU Regulations In San Diego?

The minimum square footage for ADU zoning in San Diego is one-hundred fifty square feet (150 sq.ft.) with a maximum square footage of one-thousand two-hundred square feet 1,200 (sq.ft.) per code. Collectively, the square footage regulation applies to both attached and detached ADUs. Note that, there are no specific requirements for the size of the space required to construct an additional housing unit. For properties with small cottages and bungalows, the ADU cannot be larger than eight-hundred square feet (800 sq. ft.)

San Diego does not permit properties to rent their ADU’s through agencies like Airbnb. However, if your property has an accessory dwelling unit, you do not have to rent the property. If you do decide to rent your ADU out, the accessory dwelling unit must be leased for at minimum thirty-one (31) days.

Pay close attention, one crucial regulation about new ADUs in San Diego is related to the California Energy Code. So as long as the ADU is detached and non-manufactured, the California Energy Commission mandates installing solar panels. One minor detail, it is not necessarily required to have the solar panels on the ADU itself. Installation of the solar panels may be attached to the main property. There is one exception, though. If you are converting a commercial property to a residential property, you will have to reconsider the ADU for the location for installing solar panels.

What Are The ADU Size Regulations?

Thought you knew everything about ADU zoning in San Diego? Think, again. ADU contractors know the restrictions placed on them. Contractors must follow the: minimum room dimensions, reconstruction, and remodeling regulations for ADUs per the California Building Standards Code.

California Building Standard Codes do not allow storage sheds to be attached to the ADU. Still, with an administrative permit a garage can be attached to the unit as long as it stays within the maximum one-thousand two hundred square foot regulation (1,200 sq. ft.)

In regards to height restrictions, detached ADUs cannot exceed twenty-four feet (24 ft.) Further, you can obtain an administrative permit if the ADU is part of a multi-family property. For example, a two-story duplex is a multi-family property. If the ADU is detached, the property lines along the rear and the side of the ADU will need to feature a four foot (4 ft.) setback.

In general, parking spots must be available to ADU tenants. For example, suppose there are deed restrictions related to historic districts. In this case, parking spaces can be skipped. This same leniency exists for ADUs, or JADUs, located within half-mile walking distance of public transportation features. Examples of public transportation features are bus stops or train stations. Concerning sprinklers and other fire safety issues, please consult the San Diego Fire Department for more information on fire safety regulations for your ADU in San Diego.

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