Can I Build an ADU on my Lot?

By Sean Canning

One of the main questions I get asked is: "Can I build an ADU on my lot in San Diego?"

So, I wanted to make this video to answer give a clear answer to this very common question.

The first thing you need to know is that any lot that qualifies for residential use, you can build an ADU on it. So that means that if you have an RS (residential) zoned lot, or an RM (residential multi-family) zoned lot, you would qualify for an accessory dwelling unit. In certain cases, if you have a commercial zone lot (which would let you build mixed use structures - both residential and commercial buildings) you could also build an accessory dwelling unit on your lot. (Although, this part of the City's code is a bit more vague than the regulations surround RM + RS zoned lots).

If you're wondering what zone your lot is in, you can Google "San Diego zoning validation" or the use the San Diego zoning portal (zapp) and you can find the zone for your lot.

Now the RS zones (which are residential single family) qualify for one accessory dwelling unit and one Junior accessory dwelling unit. So you can build one ADU and one JADU in addition to your primary dwelling unit.

If your lot is zoned RM residential multifamily, then you cannot do a junior accessory dwelling unit. But you would qualify for two ADUs. And if you're also in transit priority overlay zone, then in certain cases, you can qualify for more than two accessory dwelling units. And that's where really the best area of development occurs within the current zoning of San Diego.

So just to summarize, if you're a lot could build a residential dwelling unit, then you do qualify for an accessory dwelling unit.

If you have a RS zoned lot, then you qualify for one accessory dwelling unit. And if you have an RM zoned lot you qualify for two accessory dwelling units or more.

If you're interested in building an accessory dwelling unit, feel free to book a consultation with us and we'll happy to discuss it with you.

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