All ADU Regulations

National City, California

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

July 27, 2022
Get Started  

National City

More and more people are looking for ways to add extra living space to their homes. One popular solution is to build an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). ADUs can provide a place for aging parents or adult children to live, generate rental income, or simply create extra space for hobbies or guests.

National City is a great place to build an ADU. The city is located just south of San Diego, making it a convenient location. An ADU can be a great way to add value to your home in National City.


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
  • Attached ADU Max Size: 850 sq. ft. or up to 50% of main home, whichever is greater

Building height

Building height for attached and detached ADUs is: Shall not exceed the height of the primary residence


  • Backyard Existing Structure Setback: Minimum of 6ft between structures required
  • Side Yard Existing Structure Setback: Minimum of 6ft between structures required


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

Design and build with confidence.