Escondido ADU Regulations | Review City of Escondido ADU Zoning Code & Regulations - USMODULAR (2024)

Escondido ADU Regulations | Review City of Escondido ADU Zoning Code & Regulations - USMODULAR (1)

What is all the buzz about ADUs in Escondido, CA? Want to learn about The City of Escondido ADU regulations? An ADU is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka Granny Flat or a small home) that can be built in your backyard and used for extended family or friends or as a rental property. It can be attached or detached from the main house.

The State of California is leading the nation in ADU development and regulations, and a great summary can be seen in the ADU handbook published by the State of California.

One of the most affordable types of ADUs is a prefabricated home. One of Escondido’s most active prefabricated ADU builders in Escondido is USModular Inc. “ADUs are becoming very popular for homeowners looking to generate rental income in their backyard or for families that have children or elderly parents moving home, as it gives everybody their own space, is affordable and ADU increases the value of the property,” says Todd Kesseler, CEO of USModular Inc.

Some of the Highlights of the State of California ADU Regulations Include:

  • Every residential property in California is allowed to have one ADU of up to 800 sq ft regardless of lot size, floor area ratio, or main residence size.
  • This ADU can be up to 16 ft in height.
  • Homeowners are allowed to build one attached ADU or one detached ADU and one JADU, all on the same property.
  • Cities must allow at least 850 sq ft for one-bedroom ADUs and at least 1,000 if the ADU has two or more bedrooms. Cities cannot impose smaller max sizes, but they can impose larger. Every City has specific regulations for size and bedroom count above 800.
  • Setbacks – Most cities have side yard and rear yard setbacks at 4’, but some cities allow 0’ setbacks, and some areas have fire department regulations that require 5’ setbacks – the bottom line is side and rear yard setbacks are much smaller now for ADUs.
  • Parking – Most cities want to see 1 off-street parking space on your property for the ADU, except when your home is located within ½ mile of public transit
  • Fire Sprinklers are required if the Main house has them or if ADU is not close to a fire hydrant.
  • Multifamily properties are allowed multiple ADUs
    Solar panels are not required for prefabricated ADUs but may be required on a site-built ADU
  • Condo your ADU – This is a new State of Ca law, and if/when adopted by cities – you will be allowed to sell your ADU as a separate unit.

City Of Escondido ADU Regulations Are Some of The Most Progressive In The State Of California!

  • Escondido, CA, has a population of 143,911
  • Median property value: $ 473,800
  • Single-family properties: 27,675
  • Persons per household: 3.21
  • Median rental value: $ 2,405
  • Multi-family properties: 17,188

Based on Escondido’s population, the number of Single-Family Homes, Multifamily Properties and Rental Value, there is a lot of opportunity for ADU construction in Escondido.

What is Prefabricated Construction?

  • Prefabricated construction means homes are built off-site in a factory, just like your car and most of every other item you use daily.
  • Prefabricated Homes are also known as Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes. Prefabricated Home plans are pre-approved by the State of California.
  • These homes are designed, reviewed, approved and inspected by the State of California.
  • The main benefits of Prefabricated Homes are they are less costly, faster to build in factories and have less impact on homeowners and neighbors.

FAQ About ADUs in Escondido, CA

Here are the answers to common questions that Escondido homeowners ask when considering adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to their property.

Does Escondido Zoning Allow ADUs In My Neighborhood?

In 2020 and 2021, new laws were passed, making it easier for Californians to build ADUs. Major changes to Escondido zoning regulations, permit requirements, and developmental standards went into effect, making it easier, faster and cheaper to build an ADU on your property.

How Many ADUs Can Escondido Homeowners Build on Their Property?

Escondido ADU rules allow one detached ADU and one junior ADU (a unit no more than 500 square feet located within the home) to be built on most single-family residential lots. If you live on a multifamily lot, you may be able to build two detached ADUs.

How Does USMODULAR Build ADUs?

We are prefabricated construction specialists. Our ADUs are built in a factory to ANSI – American National Building code (Tiny Homes), Federal/HUD building code (Manufactured Home) or CBC/Local Building code. We choose to build prefabricated construction as we have more control over the line and quality of construction. Also, prefabricated construction is less disruptive to residents of homes and neighborhoods as our time on site is minimal.

How Long Does Permitting an ADU Take in Escondido?

We recommend ordering your home while we are still in the permit phase to shorten the overall built time.

According to Escondido ADU Regulations, is a Parking Space Needed?

According to new state laws, an additional parking spot is not needed if the ADU is located within a half mile of a public bus stop or rail station, is on a street that requires on-street parking permits, but the permit has not been offered to the occupant of the ADU; or is located within one block of a public car-share program. If you do not meet this requirement – we will need to show space on your lot for ADU parking, and this can be on the existing driveway as a tandem space.

Are There Any Hidden Or Surprise Costs To Building An ADU In Escondido?

We offer all-inclusive pricing for standard ADU sites. If your lot has special circ*mstances (hillside, sewer pumps, septic, crane etc), we determine any additional fees charges for extra site work, upgrades, etc., with you upfront so you know your full cost to build an ADU in Escondido.

How Will An ADU Affect The Sale Price Of My Escondido Home?

An ADU can increase property value and boost the primary home’s price when it’s time to sell. However, many factors go into home prices, and every case is unique.

How Do I Know If An ADU Can Fit On My Property In Escondido?

Many properties can accommodate an ADU, and we offer ADUs ranging from 160 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft. Contact us for a free Virtual site assessment to determine if the property can fit an ADU.

How Does An ADU Access Sewer, Water And Electricity Lines?

In most cities, ADUs are allowed to connect to the primary home’s water, sewer, electricity and gas.

Can I Build An ADU On A Hillside In Escondido?

Cities often have special building regulations for hillside construction. The feasibility of hillside construction must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Does It Make Sense For Me To Build An ADU On My Property?

That is a question only you can answer, but we can provide a few reasons why it might be:
You need extra space for aging parents or kids, and it’s expensive for them to live in an apartment
You want extra income and have unused space on your property.
For example, in many areas of Southern California, a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment is $2000 per month. If you finance a $200,000 ADU with a home refinance and use the equity of your home – typical payments on this loan are $900-$1000 / month. Economically, it seems to make sense as it can save family members on rent or help you earn $ every month.

What is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU)?

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) in Escondido is a dwelling unit with independent exterior access that is no more than 500 square feet in size and contained entirely within a single-family residence, including an attached garage. The proposed JADU or the existing single-family residence must be owner-occupied.

USModular Inc. is a premier contractor of prefabricated homes and ADUs with over 40 years of experience in the industry. You can see the available floor plans and pricing at
Toll-Free: (888) 987-6638
Local: (951) 679-9907 Ext. 1

Check out our latest ADU projects!

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Escondido ADU Regulations | Review City of Escondido ADU Zoning Code & Regulations - USMODULAR (2024)


Can you build in ADU in Escondido? ›

On Escondido single-family residential lots, you may build one ADU (either attached or detached) and one Junior ADU (JADUs have an owner occupancy requirement and must be converted from existing space within the primary residence).

What are the new laws for ADU in California 2024? ›

Your Property Can Accommodate Two Additional Units

Multiple ADUs attached to existing structures and up to two detached ADUs are permissible for multi-family lots. These changes represent a significant shift from previous laws, significantly increasing the potential for ADU development and addressing housing needs.

What is the maximum size of an ADU in San Diego County? ›

An ADU attached to a primary dwelling may be up to 50% of the size of the single-family residence, up to a maximum of 1,200 square feet. An ADU detached from the single-family residence may be up to 1,200 square feet, regardless of the size of the residence.

What is the minimum bedroom size for an ADU? ›

A one-bedroom ADU can be up to 850 square feet, and an ADU with two or more bedrooms can be up to 1,000 square feet. California building code requirements impose the following regulations for interior space in ADUs: Bedrooms and living room should be at least 70 sq ft. The kitchen must be at least 50 sq ft.

How far can an ADU be from the main house? ›

All in all the maximum size for a granny flat is 1,200 sq. ft. or half the size of the existing residence. A detached ADU must be ten feet away from the main residence and five feet away from any property lines.

Can I build an ADU in my front yard San Diego? ›

Can you build an ADU in the front yard in San Diego? Yes, you may build an ADU in the front yard, so long as it conforms to setbacks for that zone. Additionally, California state law allows you to build at least an 800 sqft ADU, even if it encroaches in the front setbacks, if it will not fit elsewhere on the property.

What is the $40,000 grant in California for ADU? ›

The ADU Grant provides up to $40,000 towards pre-development and non-reoccurring closing costs associated with the construction of the ADU. Predevelopment costs include site prep, architectural designs, permits, soil tests, impact fees, property survey, and energy reports.

What is the new law passed in California 2024? ›

AB 1200: This law is part of the California Safer Food Packaging Cookware Act approved in 2021. Beginning in 2024, it requires cookware manufacturers to disclose if their non-stick products contain certain hazardous chemicals, such as PTFEs, FEPs and PFAs. It also prohibits misleading advertising on cookware packaging.

What is the new tenant law in California 2024? ›

Effective April 1, 2024, the eviction notice must include a description of the work to be done, copies of required permits, and a notice that if the substantial remodel is not commenced or completed, the tenant must be given the opportunity to re-rent the unit at the same rent and lease terms as when the tenant left.

What is the new law in San Diego for ADU? ›

SAN DIEGO — With a new year comes new laws and a handful of them deal directly with accessory dwelling units, better known as ADUs. One new law, AB 1033, gives cities the option to allow homeowners to sell their ADUs separately from the main house.

How much is the permit fee for an ADU in San Diego? ›

The County of San Diego has listed the plan review fee for accessory dwelling units as $1,565 plus an additional $0.331 per square foot. For permitting, the permit fee is listed as $1,287 plus $0.433 per square foot.

How long does it take to get an ADU permit in San Diego? ›

How long does it take to permit an ADU in the City of San Diego? The overall permitting timeline in the City of San Diego is 6-8 months. This process includes a pre-screen and plan check, and may take longer if you are building in a coastal zone.

What is a good size ADU? ›

We know that everyone is tempted to go with a bigger ADU. However, we here recommend building your ADU under 750 square feet. There are various reasons for it: Constructing an ADU under 750 square feet is exempt from impact fees.

Can an ADU be larger than the primary residence? ›

Yes. Local agencies may utilize a percentage (e.g., 50 percent) of the primary dwelling as a maximum unit size for attached ADUs, but only if it does not restrict an ADU's size to less than the standard of at least 850 square feet (or at least 1,000 square feet for ADUs with more than one bedroom).

What is the largest that a detached ADU could be? ›

General Maximum Detached ADU Size Limits

California State code allows for a detached ADU to be built up to 1,200 square feet. About 391 cities and counties use this state code, meaning there is a good chance you live in one of these areas.

How much does it cost to build ADU San Diego County? ›

TABLE: Cost To Build New Construction Detached ADU in San Diego, California
TypeSizeTypical All-In Cost
1BR/1BA500 sqft$300K
2BR/1BA750 sqft$350K
2BR/2BA1000 sqft$425K
3BR/2BA1200 sqft$450K

How long does it take to build an ADU in San Diego? ›

Design is roughly 3-4 months, permitting 3-8 months, and build out is 5-7 months (highly variable based on jurisdiction and also unit size).

Can you build an ADU in Anaheim? ›

The good news is that your property can be any size and be eligible for an ADU. There are no minimum lot size restrictions. Number of ADUs allowed. If you have a single-family home, you can for the most part have one or two ADUs on it.

Can you build an ADU on a rental property in California? ›

Yes, you can rent your ADU. And you can build an accessory unit on a rental property for ADU rental income. Previously, California state law enforced specific legislation regarding owner occupancy requirements.


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