ADU Alliance

2023 ADU Laws In El Cajon And Streamlined Permitting, CA

Located in a valley east of San Diego, affordable single-family homes with ample outdoor space draw families to El Cajon. The city also appeals to ADU builders thanks to recently updated state and local accessory dwelling laws. This guide covers the latest 2023 El Cajon ADU allowances and considerations for successfully permitting and constructing an ADU.

Key Takeaways: ADU Laws In El Cajon

  • California 2023 ADU Laws
  • El Cajon ADU Rules and Regulations
  • ADU Development Standards
  • ADU Permitting Process in El Cajon
  • Financing your El Cajon ADU

We’ll additionally highlight services from ADU Alliance, a firm helping homeowners navigate El Cajon’s regulatory environment for streamlined ADU approvals.

What is an ADU?

An ADU (accessory dwelling unit), often called a granny flat or casita, is a self-contained residential unit added to an existing single-family lot. It includes living areas plus kitchen and bathroom amenities. Junior ADUs (JADUs) are compact 500 sq ft or less dwellings created within existing house walls. JADUs require owner occupancy on the site.

granny flat adu laws in el cajon

California 2023 ADU Laws in El Cajon

California implements ongoing legislation around accessory dwellings to accelerate construction statewide. Changes effective 2023 further ease restrictions and permitting burdens. Significant updates for El Cajon include:

Development Standards

  • Prohibits denying ADUs over minor zoning or building flaws
  • Allows detached structures up to 18–25 ft for 2 stories
  • Prevents mandating fire sprinklers

Approval Timeframes

  • 60 days for cities to officially approve or deny finished applications


  • Expands state funding and loan options

Get full details in California’s complete ADU statutes.

El Cajon ADU Rules and Regulations

While California sets baseline ADU standards that local jurisdictions must comply with, cities can adapt regulations to their communities. Here are key considerations from El Cajon’s codes that homeowners should understand:

Where ADUs Are Allowed

  • All residential zones (single-family and multifamily)
  • Existing or proposed primary house on the lot

adu laws in el cajon rules and regulations

Number of ADUs Allowed

ADU Type Allowances in El Cajon
Detached ADU One per single-family lot
Attached ADU One per single-family lot
JADU One per single-family home
Multifamily ADUs Convert existing non-living space

So a single-family home could have a JADU plus either a detached or attached ADU.  Multifamily sites also allow ADUs via conversions or new structures.

ADU Development Standards

El Cajon’s ADU regulations contain allowances pertaining to:

  • Maximum sizes per type of ADU
  • Detached ADU height allowances up to 20 feet
  • Setbacks as little as 3 feet for detached units
  • Limitations on parking space requirements

adu laws in el cajon standard rules

ADU Permitting Process in El Cajon

Like most cities, El Cajon requires building permits for ADUs to certify compliance with housing laws and zoning rules. Their standard permitting steps involve:

  1. Apply: Submit completed permit application with project plans and documents
  2. Review: The city circulates materials across departments (fire, planning, etc.) for approvals
  3. Pay Fees: Development services calculate and then collect your ADU fees
  4. Issue Permits: The City signs off on construction plans for your contractor
  5. Inspections: Arrange required inspections throughout project milestones
  6. Finalize: Receive certificate of occupancy after final inspection

adu laws in el cajon permitting process

Handling the required materials and navigating feedback across ADU laws in El Cajon for building and safety, planning, and engineering divisions poses hurdles for homeowners. Instead, partnering with an experienced firm like ADU Alliance alleviates stress throughout the process. Our El Cajon ADU specialists oversee submissions to condense reviews and carefully evaluate site conditions for approvals. ADU Alliance also produces feasibility studies detailing accurate costs before construction.

Typical ADU Expenses in El Cajon

While construction prices vary significantly based on finishes and complexity, be prepared to budget approximately:

Permitting Construction
Plan Check Fees: $1,500+ Site Work: $5,000+
Building Permit Fees: $2,500+ Foundation: $15,000+
Utility Connections: $5,000+ framing: $20,000+
Finishes: $50,000+

So a 700 sq ft detached ADU often totals $125,000+ as per ADU laws in El Cajon area factoring fixtures, contingency buffers, etc. Attached ADUs on existing foundations may allow for lower overall budgets.

adu laws in el cajon typical expenses

Numerous variables impact exact pricing. Connect with ADU Alliance’s El Cajon team at (760) 456-8747 to examine your property goals and budget for tailored estimates. Our experts can provide transparent upfront pricing after assessing preliminary concepts.

Financing your El Cajon ADU

ADUs unlock unused property potential but necessitate major initial funding. Explore financing solutions such as:

  • Home equity loans
  • Cash-out mortgage refinancing
  • 401(k) or IRA loans
  • Private lenders

ADU Alliance additionally guides pre-development financing, construction loans, and qualifying for affordable housing programs to commence work.

Working with ADU Experts

Given California’s evolving ADU laws and intricacies within El Cajon, we strongly suggest homeowners enlist help from specialists like ADU Alliance.

Our services across the complete ADU laws in El Cajon process include:

expert contractors adu laws in el cajon

ADU Alliance transforms convoluted permitting and building into simplified execution. Let our localized mastery deliver confidence and quality assurances that fulfill your ADU goals. Connect with an ADU specialist regarding your property visions in El Cajon by calling (760) 456-8747 or booking a free intro call.