Accessory Dwelling Units

ADU Fee Waiver Program Notice:

The County of San Diego trial impact fee waiver went into effect January 9, 2019. This was a five-year trial waiver that ended on January 9, 2024.

Plan check fees were waived for qualifying projects that started before January 9, 2024. Fees that are collected at permit issuance will not be waived if the permit is issued after January 9, 2024.

 

If you live in the unincorporated area of the County of San Diego, please click here for the complete Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) regulations.

If your property is within the County of San Diego, one ADU and one JADU may potentially be permitted on lots with an existing or proposed dwelling unit.

To find out if you live in the unincorporated area of the County of San Diego please click here.

What is an ADU?
An ADU is broadly defined as a detached or attached dwelling unit that provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons and must be located on the same legal lot as the primary dwelling unit. Please click here for the complete ADU & JADU regulations.

What is a JADU?
A JADU must be completely contained within an existing or proposed residence and cannot exceed 500 square feet.

NEW! Browse Pre-Approved County Standard ADU Building Plans!


ADU's and JADU's can be created in many different shapes and styles:

 

Where is an ADU allowed?
An ADU can be located on residentially zoned property that has an existing single-family residence. For a complete list of ADU requirements, please click here.

Is a building permit required for an ADU?
Yes, you will be required to obtain a Building Permit to ensure that the new house meets all the zoning, building, health & safety codes.

What size ADU is allowed? How big?
An ADU is intended to be secondary in size to the single-family residence. An ADU attached to a primary dwelling may be up to 50% of the size of the single-family residence, up to a maximum of 1,200 square feet. An ADU detached from the single-family residence may be up to 1,200 square feet, regardless of the size of the residence.

Examples for allowable ADU sizes are provided below:


Square Footage of Existing single-family residence (SFD)

Maximum Allowed Square Footage for Detached ADU
Maximum Allowed Square Footage for Attached ADU (up to 50% of SFD)
Studio or 1 Bedroom ADU 2 Bedrooms  or more  ADU
500 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.  850 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
1,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 850 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
1,800 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 900 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
2,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft. 1,000 sq. ft.
2,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,100 sq. ft. 1,100 sq. ft.
3,000 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.
4,500 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft. 1,200 sq. ft.

After reviewing the information provided on ADU’s and JADU's, if you still have any questions please contact us via email at PDS.ADUquestions@sdcounty.ca.gov or PDSZoningPermitCounter@sdcounty.ca.gov

To find out how your property is zoned, please click here and enter your APN # on the upcoming screen.
For the complete list of ADU & JADU regulations, please click here.
For Instructions for obtaining a building permit, please click here.
For the min. plot plan requirements, please click here.