ADU Regulations

Mission Valley

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14 min read

Diving into Mission Valley’s ADU regulations is a critical step for homeowners considering an ADU.


Understanding the local Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations in Mission Valley is paramount for homeowners aiming to utilize their property to its fullest potential. Mission Valley’s ADU regulations are designed to streamline the process of adding secondary units to existing residential properties, thereby addressing the city’s growing need for affordable housing. Ensuring your ADU project aligns with these legal standards is not only crucial for compliance but also optimizes your property’s use and value.

Essential ADU Rules for Mission Valley

What you can build

  • Maximum Sizes

    Maximum gross floor area of 1,200 square feet for detached ADUs. Attached ADUs cannot exceed 50% of the primary residence's floor area.
  • Setbacks

    Detached ADUs can be up to the property line if the structure height is 16 feet or less. Otherwise, a 4-foot setback from the side and rear property lines is required.
  • Two-Story

    Two-story ADUs are allowed, with the height for those located above a garage or other accessory buildings capped at 21 feet for flat roofs and 30 feet for sloped roofs.
  • Building Separation

    Minimum 4-foot setback from side and rear property lines.

Permitting timeline

  • Permitting Timeframe

    4-6 months.
  • Coastal

    Not required.

Mission Valley ADU Regulatory Overview

Mission Valley’s approach to ADU regulations emphasizes flexibility and accessibility, aiming to boost the housing supply. Zoning laws are accommodating, allowing most residential properties to host ADUs, regardless of lot size. Design criteria are broad, encouraging creative solutions that match the existing neighborhood character while adhering to safety and privacy considerations. Building standards are strict on quality and sustainability, ensuring that new ADUs contribute positively to the city’s housing ecosystem. Unique aspects of Mission Valley’s regulations include allowances for JADUs (Junior ADUs), streamlined processes for units within transit priority areas, and specific guidelines for historic districts.

Mission Valley ADU Permitting Process

The ADU permitting process in Mission Valley involves several steps:

  • Preparation

Gather necessary documents, including detailed plans of the ADU, site surveys, and any specific reports (like soil reports if required).

  • Submission

Complete and submit the ADU application packet to the City of San Diego’s Development Services Department, either in person or through the city’s online portal, where available.

  • Review

The city reviews the submission for completeness and compliance with local zoning and building codes. This stage may involve corrections or adjustments to the plans.

  • Approval

Once the review is satisfactorily completed, the city issues the ADU building permit, allowing construction to begin.

  • Inspection

During and after construction, city inspectors will ensure the ADU conforms to the approved plans and building codes.

At Better Place Remodeling, respecting Mission Valley’s regulatory framework and engaging in transparent discussions with local officials are our priorities, smoothing the path for your ADU project from the initial idea to the final execution, just as you envisioned.

ADU Zoning in Mission Valley

Yes, two-story ADUs are permitted, adhering to specific height restrictions that vary based on the ADU’s location and the type of roof.

Yes, but ADUs located in inland areas like Mission Valley are generally exempt from Coastal Development Permit requirements.

Mission Valley does not enforce a minimum lot size requirement for building ADUs, promoting flexibility in housing development.

A single-family lot can accommodate up to four units, including one ADU, one JADU, one affordable ADU, and one bonus market-rate ADU, given certain zoning conditions are met.

ADUs exceeding 16 feet in height must observe a minimum of 4 feet for side and rear setbacks.

Parking spaces are not required for ADUs under specific conditions, such as being located within close proximity to public transit.

ADU Building Codes in Mission Valley

For detached ADUs, the size limit is up to 1,200 square feet. Attached ADUs are limited to no more than 50% of the primary residence’s living area.

The height limit for two-story ADUs can reach up to 30 feet, subject to adjustments based on the ADU’s location and roof type.

Yes, non-converted ADUs are generally required to have separate utility connections, adhering to specific city guidelines.

Yes, separate mailing addresses for ADUs are permitted, facilitating utility billing, mail delivery, and emergency service responses.

Yes, ADUs can be rented, provided the rental period exceeds 30 consecutive days.

Currently, ADUs cannot be sold separately from the main house unless the city council opts into specific state laws allowing such arrangements.

Finalizing Your ADU in Mission Valley

Successfully integrating an ADU into your Mission Valley property involves meticulous planning beyond just the build. Understanding the submission and verification process is your first step, ensuring your project aligns with city regulations from the get-go, including parking arrangements designed with flexibility in mind, especially for ADUs located within a half-mile of public transit. This waiver eases concerns about space constraints, enabling more room for ADU construction and landscape design. ADU usage parameters offer flexibility for rental income, family use, or workspaces, but Mission Valley mandates rentals for terms longer than 30 consecutive days to support long-term housing solutions. Utilities connection can be independent or shared, with separate meters enhancing billing transparency, especially for rented units. Navigating these aspects efficiently requires not just adherence to regulations but also a strategic approach to complement your property’s existing structures and services, considering accessibility, privacy, and overall aesthetic impact.

Calculate Your ADU Cost in Mission Valley

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.
Get started


At Better Place Remodeling, we’re well-versed in the intricacies of ADU regulations in Mission Valley, so you can focus on the exciting parts of your project without getting bogged down by the details. Our comprehensive, one-stop-shop approach handles permits and inspections, removing any potential headaches from the equation. If you’re searching for the premier ADU builders in Mission Valley, you’re in the right place. We understand that embarking on an ADU project is a fantastic way to enhance your property’s value and expand the city’s housing options. From zoning laws and building codes to parking and utilities, we’ve got the expertise to guide you smoothly through every step, ensuring your ADU is compliant with current laws and a valuable addition to Mission Valley’s vibrant housing market. Let us handle the complexities so you can enjoy the journey of transforming your property.


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