5 Things to Know About Granny Flat Regulations in San Diego

It can be tough keeping up with the changing rules and regulations for San Diego ADUs. This animated infographic can help!

The popularity of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) - also known as “granny flats” or “in-law suites” - continues to grow in California. The state saw a 63% increase in approved ADU construction permits in 2017 compared to 2016.

In San Diego, that increase jumps to 71%, mainly due to recently loosened regulations and a simplified permitting process for qualified homeowners. In the animated infographic below, we break down 5 important things that homeowners should know about the recent changes to state and city regulations for ADUs before starting construction on their new San Diego granny flat.

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5 Things to Know About Granny Flat Regulations in San Diego

  1. Bigger is Better - San Diego expanded the maximum size of a granny flat from 700 sq.ft. to 50% of the primary residence’s size, or 1,200 sq.ft, whichever is less.

  2. City-backed Resources - San Diego city officials are creating step-by-step manuals, along with a set of pre-approved granny flat designs, to help accelerate construction.

  3. Encinitas Leading the Way - Homeowners in Encinitas can build granny flats up to 1,200 sq.ft. and are eligible to save around $3,500 in waived fees.

  4. Vacation Rentals a No-Go - City regulations stipulate that lease agreements for granny flats must be no less than 30 days. This discourages homeowners from building a granny flat as a vacation rental.

  5. Fees Range Significantly - Depending on where you live and the type of granny flat you’re looking to build (size, features, etc.), permitting fees and construction costs could range significantly. Check with your local city council before you get started.


  • Hausable.com (featured image)
  • http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/politics/sd-me-granny-flats-20170825-story.html
  • http://www.thecoastnews.com/2018/02/15/city-approves-granny-flat-ordinance/
  • https://www.voiceofsandiego.org/topics/opinion/new-granny-flat-laws-step-not-leap-right-direction

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