ADU Regulations

Lemon Grove

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11 min read

Mastery of the ADU guidelines in Lemon Grove is essential for homeowners eyeing an ADU project.


Understanding local ADU regulations in Lemon Grove is crucial for homeowners contemplating adding an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) to their property. Familiarizing yourself with these rules ensures your project complies with legal standards, optimizes property usage, and enhances living space or rental income potential effectively and efficiently.

Essential ADU Rules for Lemon Grove

What you can build

  • Maximum Sizes

    Maximum size is 1200 sqft.
  • Setbacks

    4-foot setback from side and rear property lines.
  • Two-Story

    Permitted, with a height limit of 16 feet and specific setback requirements.
  • Building Separation

    Minimum 10-foot separation is required.

Permitting timeline

  • Permitting Timeframe

    4-6 months.
  • Coastal

    Not required.

Lemon Grove ADU Regulatory Overview

Lemon Grove’s approach to ADU regulation is designed to streamline the addition of these units while respecting community character and ensuring safety. The city’s zoning laws permit both detached and attached ADUs on single-family and multifamily properties, encouraging property owners to maximize their land use. Design criteria focus on architectural compatibility, ensuring ADUs complement the primary residence. Building standards are rigorous, emphasizing quality construction, adherence to safety codes, and efficient utility use, reflecting Lemon Grove’s commitment to sustainable and livable housing solutions.

Lemon Grove ADU Permitting Process

The permitting process for an ADU in Lemon Grove involves several clear steps:

  • Research

Begin by understanding the specific zoning and building requirements applicable to your property.

  • Design

Draft your ADU plans according to local regulations, possibly consulting with an architect or designer familiar with Lemon Grove’s standards.

  • Document Preparation

Gather necessary documents, including property plans, ADU designs, and any required application forms.

  • Submission

Plans must be submitted in person at the Lemon Grove Building Division, accompanied by the relevant fees.

  • Review

The city reviews submitted plans, ensuring compliance with zoning laws and building codes. This process is capped at 60 days.

  • Approval

Upon approval, construction can commence, followed by inspections and final approval before occupancy.

We at Better Place Remodeling prioritize alignment with Lemon Grove’s regulations and value clear, honest interactions with local authorities, ensuring your ADU project’s path from concept to completion is as smooth and trouble-free as your dream envisioned.

ADU Zoning in Lemon Grove

Lemon Grove permits up to two detached ADUs on multifamily lots that already have a multifamily building, such as a duplex or larger structure. Additionally, non-livable spaces within these existing structures, like storage rooms or garages, can be converted into ADUs. The number of ADUs allowed through conversion is capped at 25% of the existing units in the multifamily structure, with a minimum allowance of one conversion ADU.

Yes, two-story ADUs are permitted in Lemon Grove, subject to specific setback requirements and adhering to a maximum height limit of 16 feet. This height constraint typically accommodates a single-story structure, but careful design may allow for two-story ADUs within the height limit.

No, Lemon Grove does not impose a minimum lot size requirement for the construction of ADUs. This policy aims to maximize housing options within the city by allowing ADUs on various lot sizes.

It is currently unclear whether two detached ADUs can be attached to each other; this is subject to interpretation by city authorities.

Yes, the conversion of existing space within a single-family or multi-family property into an ADU is allowed in Lemon Grove. This includes converting spaces like garages, basements, or other unused spaces into habitable living units.

A parking space is not required for an ADU under several conditions: if it is within a half-mile walking distance from public transit, located in a historic district, converted from existing space within a primary residence or an accessory structure, or attached to an existing or proposed primary residence. If parking is required, it can be accommodated within setbacks or on an existing driveway as tandem parking. Additionally, there’s no need to replace parking spaces when a garage, carport, or covered parking structure is demolished or converted to an ADU.

ADU Building Codes in Lemon Grove

The standard maximum height for detached ADUs is 16 feet, but state law may allow heights up to 20 feet, enabling two-story designs. Recent legislative updates permit detached ADUs within half a mile of major transit stops or high-quality transit corridors to have reduced side and rear setbacks of 4 feet and reach up to 18 feet in height. If the ADU’s roof pitch matches the primary dwelling, an additional 2 feet can be added, further supporting two-story configurations. For internal, attached, and junior ADUs, the height limit aligns with that of the primary dwelling in the same zoning area.

ADUs must observe a minimum setback of 4 feet from the side and rear property lines. This requirement helps maintain privacy and accessibility, promoting good neighbor relations and fire safety.

Yes, ADUs in Lemon Grove can obtain separate mailing addresses. This arrangement is particularly useful for homeowners looking to rent out their ADUs, as it allows tenants to receive mail independently of the main house.

No, ADUs in Lemon Grove are not subject to coastal development permit requirements, simplifying the permitting process for homeowners and encouraging the development of additional housing.

No, a soil report is not required for the construction of ADUs in Lemon Grove, removing a potential barrier to ADU development and streamlining the approval process.

No, Lemon Grove does not mandate specific stormwater mitigation measures for ADU construction, further facilitating the addition of these units to the housing stock.

Finalizing Your ADU in Lemon Grove

To successfully build an ADU in Lemon Grove, careful attention to several logistical factors is essential. Firstly, proper submission and verification of all necessary documents in person are crucial initial steps. Understanding and utilizing exemptions related to parking requirements can significantly aid in project planning. Additionally, recognizing that ADUs can be rented out for extra income but cannot be sold separately from the primary residence is important. Moreover, connecting utilities between the ADU and primary residence can streamline construction and decrease costs, in line with Lemon Grove’s guidelines. These considerations collectively contribute to the successful development of an ADU in Lemon Grove.

Calculate Your ADU Cost in Lemon Grove

Using the tool below, you will be able to calculate your investment based on the type and size of the ADU you are interested in building on your property.

Attached ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.

Detached ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.

Garage ADU


Estimated Cost


*The costs we are calculating here are an average for time and materials. This calculator is meant to provide an estimate to educate you on the ADU building process, please note that this is not a final quote.
Reach out


At Better Place Remodeling, we’re your go-to experts on ADU regulations in Lemon Grove, making the entire process worry-free for you. With our comprehensive one-stop-shop approach, we take care of everything from permits to inspections, so you don’t have to. If you’re searching for the top ADU builders in Lemon Grove, look no further. Adding an ADU is an excellent way to boost your property’s value and functionality. By guiding you through local size, design, and placement standards, as well as the permitting process, we ensure your ADU project meets all legal requirements and perfectly matches your needs. Let us handle the specifics, offering personalized advice and the latest updates so you can look forward to a smooth and successful addition to your Lemon Grove property.


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