ADU Alliance

2023 ADU Laws In Del Mar And Permitting Assistance, CA

The coastal community of Del Mar, nestled along the Pacific Ocean in northern San Diego County, appeals to homeowners seeking a seaside lifestyle. Recent changes to California ADU laws in Del Mar also make it an increasingly attractive location for adding accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to residential property. This guide covers the latest 2023 ADU laws in Del Mar, as well as key considerations for successfully permitting and building an ADU.

We’ll highlight services from ADU Alliance, experts helping homeowners navigate Del Mar’s regulatory environment for smooth ADU approvals.

Key Takeaways: ADU Laws in Del Mar, CA

  • Detached ADUs plus JADUs allowed on single-family lots
  • Del Mar ADU Rules and Regulations
  • Permissible Zones for ADUs and Jr. ADUs
  • Typical ADU Expenses in Del Mar
  • Financing Your Del Mar ADU
  • Work with specialists like ADU Alliance for optimal permitting/building
  • Connect with us at (760) 456-8747

What is an ADU?

An ADU, often called a granny flat or casita, is a self-contained residential unit added to a single-family lot, either as a detached structure or attached to the primary dwelling. Junior ADUs (JADUs) are smaller rental units, up to 500 sq ft, created within existing house walls. They require owner occupancy on the property.

garage converion adu laws in del mar

California 2023 ADU Laws

The state oversees ongoing ADU regulatory updates to promote construction. Changes taking effect in 2023 aim to facilitate permitting and expand allowances. Key legal highlights for ADU laws in Del Mar include:

Expedited Review

  • 60 days for cities to approve complete ADU applications
  • Prohibits denials over minor zoning and building issues

Development Standards

  • Allows detached ADUs up to 18–25 feet tall for 2 stories
  • Limits setbacks/lot coverage barriers

Affordability Incentives

  • Bonus market-rate units are allowed if you are also building income-restricted ADU(s)

Get details in California’s ADU statutes. Now let’s look at how ADU laws in Del Mar are applied.

Del Mar ADU Rules and Regulations

While California legislation sets baseline ADU allowances that local jurisdictions must follow, cities can adapt regulations to their communities. Here are key considerations from Del Mar’s draft ADU ordinances that homeowners should understand:

adu laws in del mar rules and regulations

Where ADUs Are Allowed

  • Residentially zoned parcels with existing or proposed housing
  • Commercial/mixed-use zones with residential uses

Permissible Zones for ADUs and Jr. ADUs

ADUs are sanctioned in zones that permit the development of single-dwelling units or multiple-dwelling units. In Del Mar, this encompasses all residential zones within the city and the Carmel Valley Precise Plan Specific Plan (CVPP).

  • For a lot with a single dwelling unit, a maximum of one ADU and one JrADU is allowed. The JrADU must be situated within the walls of the primary dwelling unit. In addition to the JrADU, one detached ADU is permitted, either within a new detached structure or within an existing detached accessory structure converted to an ADU. Alternatively, a single dwelling unit lot is allowed to have either one ADU within the walls of the primary single dwelling unit or create one attached ADU within an addition to the primary single dwelling unit. However, in these two scenarios, a JrADU would not be permitted. JrADUs are not allowed within a detached ADU, and a maximum total of one ADU is allowed under all circumstances. The primary dwelling unit in all scenarios can be an existing or proposed structure.
  • An existing duplex (two units on one lot, attached or unattached) is allowed to have a maximum of two ADUs per lot. The primary dwelling units must exist. Each primary dwelling unit can have one ADU that is detached or attached to the primary dwelling unit, adhering to the development standards applicable to ADUs on lots with a single dwelling unit. If necessary to safeguard coastal access and coastal resources, such ADUs may be accommodated in a design where one or both of the ADUs are attached to their respective primary dwelling units; however, the ADUs cannot be attached to each other. The city’s Coastal Development Permit findings may be employed in this case to justify the accommodation of attached ADUs in this scenario.
  • A lot with an existing multiple dwelling unit development that includes three or more dwelling units (i.e., RM-South) is allowed to integrate ADUs into spaces not located within the dwelling units themselves. This type of ADU may be constructed within existing multiple dwelling unit building spaces not associated with an individual dwelling unit (i.e., common area storage rooms, boiler rooms, attics, basements, or parking garages). The maximum number of ADUs in the converted space of multi-dwelling unit buildings is 25 percent of the total number of existing dwelling units on the lot. Additionally, up to two more ADUs may be situated on multiple dwelling unit lots as detached structures (a maximum of two detached ADUs per lot).
  • JrADUs are permitted only in single dwelling unit zones, which, within the City of Del Mar, include the CVPP, R1-10, R1-10B, R1-14, R1-40, R1-5, and R1-5B zones. Only one JrADU is allowed per lot.


Number of ADUs Allowed

ADU Type Allowances in Del Mar
JADU One per single-family home with owner occupancy
Detached ADU One per single-family home
Attached ADU One per single-family home
Multifamily ADUs Convert up to 25% of existing units

So a single-family home could have a detached ADU plus a JADU. Multifamily properties may incorporate ADUs through conversions or new structures.

ADU Development Standards

Del Mar’s draft ADU ordinances contain allowances for:

  • Reduced setbacks: 4 feet rather than 5+ ft
  • Detached ADU height: up to 16–25 feet for 2 stories
  • Limitations on parking requirements

The draft rules also outline protections for environmental resources, scenic views, and community character.

adu laws in del mar permits

ADU Permitting Process in Del Mar

Like most cities, Del Mar requires building permits for ADUs to verify compliance with housing laws and zoning rules. Their ADU permitting steps include:

  1. Submit Application: File completed forms plus project plans and documents
  2. Application Review: The city evaluates and then routes materials to departments (planning, fire, etc.) for approvals
  3. Issue Permits: The city signs off on construction plans for your contractor.

ADU projects also need separate trade permits (electrical, plumbing, etc.) and the scheduling of inspections.

ADU laws in Del Mar state to act on finished applications within 60 days, per California law. However, compiling the required exhibits while adhering to coastal protections across multiple departments poses challenges for homeowners.

That’s why partnering with an experienced firm like ADU Alliance offers confidence throughout your build. Our Del Mar ADU specialists quarterback submissions to accelerate reviews and carefully assess site conditions for tailored approvals. ADU Alliance also creates feasibility studies detailing accurate costs before finalizing designs.

Typical ADU Expenses in Del Mar

ADU construction pricing in the Del Mar area often reaches $300 to $500 per sq ft accounting for high-end finishes and complex coastal foundations. Be ready to budget approximately:

Permitting Construction
Plan Check Fees: $5,000+ Site preparation: $15,000+
Building Permit Fees: $8,000+ Foundations: $30,000+
Utility Connections: $5,000+ Framing/Roofing: $40,000+
Exterior/Interior Finishes: $70,000+

adu laws in del mar typical expenses

So a 1,200 sq ft detached ADU often totals $350,000+, accounting for contingencies. Attached ADUs on existing foundations may reach lower price points.

Numerous variables affect your specific build cost. Connect with ADU Alliance at (760) 456-8747 to discuss your budget and project goals in Del Mar. Their experts can provide upfront pricing estimates based on preliminary concepts.

Financing via ADU Laws in Del Mar

ADUs allow homeowners to utilize property assets better but require a major upfront investment. Explore financing options like:

  • Home equity loans
  • Cash-out refinancing
  • Retirement account loans
  • Private lenders provide development funding

ADU Alliance also offers guidance on coordinating pre-development capital, construction loans, and affordable housing programs to kickstart work.

Working With ADU Experts

Given California’s evolving ADU laws and nuances within Del Mar, we strongly advise homeowners to align with specialists like the ADU Alliance for support.

Our services, spanning the complete Del Mar ADU process, include:

ADU Alliance streamlines overwhelming permitting and construction into simplified execution. Let our localized expertise provide confidence and quality assurance, fulfilling your ADU visions.

Connect with an ADU Specialist regarding your property goals in Del Mar by calling (760) 456-8747 or scheduling a free intro call. Please let us know if you have any other questions about ADU laws in Del Mar requirements or development standards!