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All ADU Regulations

La Mesa, California

La Mesa has updated its ADU ordinance to comply with new state laws. Below are the up-to-date requirements for permitting an ADU in La Mesa
Updated Jul 27, 2022

La Mesa

La Mesa is a great place to build an ADU. The city is located just east of San Diego and is known for its great weather and beautiful scenery. La Mesa is also a very safe city. The city has strict building codes and regulations that ensure that all ADUs are built to a high standard. La Mesa is also home to a number of great schools, which makes it a great place to raise a family.


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
  • 1,200 square feet in floor area, including basements and attics but does not include a garage or any accessory structuresq. ft. max for a detached ADU
  • Attached ADU Max Size: 1,200 square feet in floor area, including basements and attics but does not include a garage or any accessory structure

Building height

  • Attached or detached ADU observing the setbacks of the underlying zone may also use the maximum structure height of the underlying zone
  • Portion of an attached or detached ADU between the typical setback of the underlying zone and the reduced four-foot setback cannot exceed one story and 16 feet in height
  • ADU constructed above a garage that complies with the underlying zone’s setback requirements must observe the height limit applicable to the primary dwelling


No parking required for ADUs


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

Want to learn more about ADU regulations in your area?

Book a free consultation and estimate with a Cottage ADU Expert to find out what’s possible on your property!