Welcome to the City of Oceanside's Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) resource page. The information on this page is intended to help Oceanside residents understand zoning regulations, building codes, and the process for constructing an ADU in the City of Oceanside.
New ADU Legislation (Effective January 1, 2020)
The State legislature enacted new ADU legislation on January 1, 2020 intended to further reduce the regulatory barriers and costs and streamline approval of ADUs. The following are the key changes to the law as provided in Government Code Section 65852.2:
An 800 square-foot ADU (attached or detached) with a maximum height of 16 feet and four foot side and rear setbacks shall be permitted in any circumstance subject to compliance with all building codes. No lot coverage requirement shall apply.
A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) (Government Code 65852.22) shall be allowed within the space of an existing/proposed primary dwelling. State law requires the property owner to live on the premises. A JADU shall meet the following requirements:
Unit shall not be exceed 500 square-feet, but may include an expansion of 150 square-feet beyond the physical footprint of the existing structure limited to accommodating ingress and egress.
Unit shall have an efficiency kitchen with cooking facility and appliances, a food preparation counter, and storage cabinets.
Unit may include a separate sanitation facility or share the sanitation facilities with the existing dwelling.
Unit shall include exterior access from the primary dwelling.
No parking space is required.
Requires the recordation of a deed restriction prohibiting the separate sale of the unit and restricting the size and attributes.
JADU & ADU Combination: A JADU may also be established in the primary dwelling in combination with a new construction detached ADU. This provision shall not qualify for attached ADUs or the conversion of existing detached structures. State law requires the property owner to live on the premises.
Multi-family Provisions (Only applies to existing multi-family development):
An existing multi-family dwelling shall allow the construction of at least one ADU or up to 25 percent of the existing units in non-livable space, including, but not limited to, storage rooms, passageways, attics, basements, or closets. The existing livable space of a unit shall not be converted into an ADU. In addition;
Not more than two 800 square-foot detached ADUs with a maximum height of 16 feet and four foot side and rear setbacks shall be permitted in addition to the above-referenced provision. The units shall not displace required open space or recreational amenities.
Garage conversions that displace the parking for the primary dwelling shall not require replacement parking or a parking space for the ADU.
The parking waiver for within one-half mile of public transit is now defined as “walking distance” rather than “as the crow flies.”
Rental of an ADU or JADU shall be for a term longer than 30 says per State law. No STRs allowed.
Building permit review of ADU shall be completed in 60 days. The clock stops when the city provides plan check comments to the applicant and restarts when the applicant resubmits plans. This provision does not apply for an ADU constructed concurrently with a new single-family dwelling. The ADU does not have to be approved until the permit for the primary dwelling is approved.
In addition to the new provisions, the City will continue to allow ADUs as provided in Article 30, Section 3006 of the Zoning Ordinance as follows:
A detached ADU up to a maximum of 1,200 square-feet subject to standard height, lot coverage, and setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located.
An attached ADU not to exceed 50% of the primary dwelling up to a maximum of 1,200 square-feet.
The ADU shall be architecturally similar to the primary dwelling in terms of design, materials, roof pitch, and color.
An ADU taking advantage of the four-foot setback provision shall not be allowed to exceed a height of 16-feet. An attached or detached ADU exceeding 16-feet must comply with the setbacks of the zoning district in which it is located. For example, a second story ADU addition above the primary dwelling that exceeds 16-feet does not qualify for reduced four-foot setbacks.
Setbacks: All ADUs shall comply with the standard front and street side corner setbacks of the zoning district for which it is located.
Parking design and location shall be in accordance with Section 3006. One parking space shall be required for the ADU unless it qualifies for a parking exemption pursuant to Government Code Section 65852.2.
All development impact fees for which the city has control over have been waived. This excludes school fees. A pro-rated water buy-in fee may be required for additions or detached units based on need to upsize the water meter.
Building Permit Fees: Detached ADUs shall be assessed fees for a new single-family dwelling. Attached or conversion ADUs shall be assessed fees for an addition/remodel. There is a significant cost savings for attached or conversion units versus new detached construction.
The Planning Division is currently preparing revisions to the ADU Ordinance and anticipates the draft ordinance will be considered by the Planning Commission and City Council in May.
Thank you to all of the residents who attended the ADU Workshop on November 12, 2019 in the City Council Chambers. The City of Oceanside, in partnership with the ADU Coalition of San Diego and AARP California, conducted the public workshop to inform residents about the development regulations and process for constructing an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) in the City of Oceanside. Topics included:
An overview of new ADU legislation (SB 68, SB 13, AB 881, AB 587, & AB 671)
City regulations and incentives
Guidance through the permitting and construction process
An overview of cost and financing
The State legislature enacted ADU legislation in 2017 and 2018 (SB 1069, AB 2299, SB 229, & AB 494) with the intent to reduce regulatory barriers and costs, streamline approval, and expand the potential capacity for ADUs in response to California's housing shortage. The City Council adopted revised ADU regulations on August 9, 2017 and May 9, 2018, conforming to the provisions of Government Code Section 65852.2 as mandated by state law.
The City's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance is located in Article 30, Section 3006 of the Zoning Ordinance. Key revisions to the ordinance include the waiver of certain development impact fees, flexible parking requirements or parking waivers, and a streamlined permit review process.
Please review the ADU Informational Guide and Fact Sheet as well as Visualizing the Code video featured on the resources page. For additional information regarding ADU regulations, please contact the Planning Division or visit the Development Services Department at 300 North Coast Highway.