ADU Regulations

Solana Beach

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10 min read

Homeowners aiming to initiate an ADU project must familiarize themselves with Solana Beach’s ADU regulations.


Understanding local ADU regulations in Solana Beach is essential for property owners contemplating an ADU project. This knowledge ensures that your addition aligns with legal standards, maximizes property usage, and enhances value efficiently. Solana Beach, with its unique coastal charm and stringent zoning laws, requires careful navigation through its ADU regulations to achieve successful and compliant development.

Essential ADU Rules for Solana Beach

What you can build

  • Maximum Sizes

    Detached ADUs are limited to 850 sq ft for studio or one-bedroom units and 1,000 sq ft for units with two or more bedrooms. Attached ADUs cannot exceed 50% of the main residence's floor area, up to a maximum of 1,200 sq ft.
  • Setbacks

    Minimum setback of 4 feet from rear and side property lines.
  • Two-Story

    Not allowed; the maximum height is 16 feet.
  • Building Separation

    minimum separation of 6 feet, measured from eave to eave.

Permitting timeline

  • Permitting Timeframe

    4-6 months.
  • Coastal


Solana Beach ADU Regulations

Solana Beach’s ADU regulations are crafted to encourage the development of ADUs while maintaining the coastal city’s character and respecting neighborhood aesthetics. Zoning laws dictate where ADUs can be built, emphasizing compatibility with existing structures and environmental considerations, especially within the Coastal Zone. Design criteria focus on ensuring that ADUs complement the primary residence in terms of exterior finishes, roofing, and colors. Building standards address safety, accessibility, and efficiency, including specific provisions for utility connections and environmental sustainability.

Solana Beach ADU Permitting

The ADU permitting process in Solana Beach involves several key steps:

  • Initial Consultation

Engage with the local planning department to understand specific zoning requirements and constraints.

  • Plan Preparation

Develop detailed ADU plans, ensuring compliance with local design and building standards.

  • Document Submission

In-person submission of plans is required; digital submissions are not accepted.

  • Review Process

The city reviews the submitted plans for compliance with zoning laws, building codes, and Coastal Zone requirements.

  • Approval and Construction

Once approved, construction can begin, with inspections at critical phases to ensure ongoing compliance.

At Better Place Remodeling, following Solana Beach’s ADU regulations closely and chatting transparently with local authorities is our jam, helping your ADU project sail smoothly from blueprint to reality, just as you imagined.

ADU Zoning in Solana Beach

In Solana Beach, single-family properties are generally allowed to host one or two ADUs. The exact number may vary based on lot size, existing structures, and adherence to local zoning regulations.

Multifamily properties in Solana Beach are permitted to add two detached ADUs and a minimum of one conversion ADU, with the total number of conversion ADUs not surpassing 25% of the existing multifamily unit count.

In Solana Beach, detached ADUs are restricted to a maximum of 850 square feet for studio or one-bedroom units, and up to 1,000 square feet for units with two or more bedrooms.

Two-story ADUs are prohibited in Solana Beach. The city enforces a height limit of 16 feet for ADUs, effectively limiting them to one story.

Roof decks are permitted on ADUs in Solana Beach, provided they comply with the 16-foot height limit and do not encroach on required setbacks.

Attached ADUs must not exceed 50% of the living area of the main residence, up to a maximum of 1,200 square feet, ensuring that the ADU remains secondary to the primary dwelling.

ADU Building Codes in Solana Beach

ADUs in Solana Beach must match the main residence in terms of roofing, walls, windows, and color palette, ensuring aesthetic harmony between the structures.

ADUs in Solana Beach must comply with zoning for residential use and adhere to specific setbacks from property lines, with considerations for placement relative to existing structures ensuring compliance with fire safety and privacy standards.

Both attached and detached ADUs in Solana Beach must observe a minimum 4-foot setback from side and rear property lines. Existing garages converted into ADUs are exempt from setbacks, but a 5-foot setback applies if building above.

Solana Beach does not specifically mandate a Building Verification Survey for ADU construction, but it’s advisable to consult local guidelines for any project-specific requirements.

Solana Beach does not explicitly require a soils report for ADU construction, streamlining the process for homeowners and developers.

Finalizing Your ADU in Solana Beach

The submission and verification process for ADUs in Solana Beach highlights the importance of detailed planning and adherence to local guidelines. Parking arrangements for ADUs are thoughtfully integrated into the city’s regulations, with exemptions provided under specific conditions, such as proximity to public transit. ADU usage in Solana Beach is geared towards long-term housing solutions, with short-term rentals typically restricted. Utilities connection for ADUs emphasizes independence and efficiency, with provisions for separate metering and sustainable practices.

Calculate Your ADU Cost in Solana Beach

Using the tool below, you will be able to calculate your ADU cost in Solana Beach 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.
Bring your dream to life


At Better Place Remodeling, we’ve got navigating ADU regulations in Solana Beach down to an art, so you don’t have to worry about the complexities. With our expertise in local zoning laws, building codes, and the specifics of coastal development, you can rest easy knowing we’re handling everything. Our one-stop-shop approach means that permits and inspections are off your plate. Are you looking for the best ADU builders in Solana Beach? We’ve got you covered. We understand the importance of balancing Solana Beach’s’ need for housing with preserving its unique coastal charm, and we’re here to make sure your ADU adds value and utility to your property seamlessly.


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