All ADU Regulations

Encinitas, California

Encinitas has updated its ADU ordinance to comply with new state laws. Below are the up-to-date requirements for permitting an ADU in Encinitas

July 27, 2022
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Encinitas is a beautiful coastal city in Southern California, and one of the things that makes it so special is the fact that you can build ADUs. ADUs, or accessory dwelling units, are small living spaces that can be attached to your home or built on your property. They are a great way to add extra living space to your home, and they can also be a great source of income if you rent them out. If you're thinking about building an ADU in Encinitas, there are a few things you need to know. Call us to learn more.


All properties zoned for single family and multifamily use may be eligible to build ADUs.

Number of units

The number of ADUs you’re able to build depends on how your lot is zoned:

  • Lots zoned for single family use may add 1 ADU and 1 Jr. ADU (JADU).
  • Lots zoned for multi-family may add 2 new detached ADUs and at least one conversion ADU (interior conversion of existing building, but no more than 25% of the original number of units. (E.g. an apartment with 4 units may add 2 detached ADUs and 1 conversion ADU.)

Building size

  • The maximum size is 500.0 sq. ft. for a JADU
  • 1200 sq. ft. max for a detached ADU
  • Attached ADU Max Size: 1200 or 50% of floor area of primary residence, whichever is less

Building height

Building height for attached and detached ADUs is: 16ft limit if applying reduced ADU setbacks

  • If greater than 16 feet, the existing zoning setbacks apply


  • Backyard Existing Structure Setback: 6ft
  • Side Yard Existing Structure Setback: 6ft


State Law - No requirements for parking if any of the following true:

  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.
  • When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
  • When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.


  • Owner occupancy not required
  • No short term rentals (<30 days)
  • No sale of the ADU separate from the main home

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