ADUs, Granny Flats, Backhouses, Casitas, Guest Houses, or Companion Units… Accessory Dwelling Units in Los Angeles have many names, usages, and values, but the most important benefit is the solution they provide to the severe housing shortage in the state of California, especially in Los Angeles and San Diego. These secondary units have made owning a house, with possible additional income, something achievable for san diegans.
Across the country, ADUs have been presented as a fast and reasonably priced way to increase the housing stock in the most overcrowded cities, but for many years California Housing Laws prevented that from happening in San Diego, making it difficult for homeowners to build ADUs in their city. But new State and Local Laws completely changed this, and in 2021, new guidelines encouraging homeowners to build an ADU on their property are being implemented, and they even drastically reduced the rates to do so.
Now, depending on the type of construction and permitting costs, recovery fees can be as low as $2,000 per application. Previously, the cost was between $20,000 and $30,000, according to Gary Geiler, deputy director of San Diego’s Development Services Department. This has caused the number of applications to build an ADU in San Diego to quadruple over the years, going from 19 applications in 2016, to 600 applications in 2019, to more than 1.000 applications in 2020.
For most of these applicants, their ADU will be their first home as independent adults, but for many others these secondary dwellings will serve other purposes. Some people will use this new acquired space as home offices, to balance remote working and family life during COVID-19, others see ADUs as a safer and more inexpensive alternative to assisted living facilities for their elderly parents.
If you are considering adding an ADU to your property in San Diego, here’s what you need to know:
San Diego’s Housing Laws
While state-level laws allowing ADUs have been passed, some of the measures are voluntary and each city can choose which one to adopt. The city of San Diego currently accepts Encinitas building plans, and permit-ready plans issued by the county in sandiegocounty.gov.
Making Sure it Can be Done
Only one in ten projects that come to us is feasible, due to zoning laws or problems with underground electricity and gas lines. Therefore, before starting construction you have to make sure that your property complies with the county zoning ordinances in sandiegocounty.gov.
Find the Right Contractor
The right company will make sure that an ADU construction on your property is feasible, and will do a recap of your goals with you. At ADU Resource Center we have the experience and the means to guarantee you satisfaction with the work done.
It’s attractive to cut corners on a job like this, but hiring the correct team will save you from troubles with the city, and budget-hopping outbursts. Can we help you get started on a project? Reach out for a free consultation.