ADU Alliance

The Latest 2023 ADU laws In Solana Beach: Unlock New Opportunities

The small coastal city of Solana Beach has its own distinct zoning code and permitting process for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior ADUs on lots zoned for single-family homes. Recent changes bring ADU laws in Solana Beach more in alignment with California legislation promoting ADU development.

This guide covers what homeowners need to know about the city’s current standards, allowances, and procedural requirements for gaining approval to build a detached or attached ADU on their residential property.

adu laws in solana beach

Key Takeaways:

  • Allowance for one standard ADU plus a junior ADU on single-family lots
  • Reduced 4-ft side and rear setback requirements specifically for ADUs
  • 800 sq ft ADUs are exempt from lot coverage, floor area ratio (FAR), and other zoning restrictions
  • No owner-occupancy mandate
  • Streamlined ministerial approval process compared to other additions
  • Strict 50 cubic yards grading threshold requiring a grading permit

ADU laws in Solana Beach updated their ADU ordinances in January 2020 to better conform to California’s mandates around local government ADU and JADU policies. The state law aims to increase housing supply and affordability.

ADU Development Standards in Solana Beach

ADU laws in Solana Beach allow for the development of detached or attached ADUs as well as more compact JADUs integrated into existing single-family homes. Dimensional standards differ based on the type of ADU proposed.

adu laws in solana beach standards

ADU Setback Allowances

Type of ADU Minimum Setbacks
Detached or attached ≤ 800 sq ft 4 feet side/rear setbacks
Detached or attached > 800 sq ft 4 feet side/rear setbacks
All ADUs Same as primary home front setback per zone

The 4-foot reduced setbacks ease siting constraints versus conventional accessory buildings. However, the city does impose limitations on the extent of grading and land alteration feasible with ADU projects.

Size and Height

Type Max. Height Max. Size Lot Coverage
Detached ADU 16 ft <br>(18 ft if near major transit) 800 sq ft exempt <br> 1,200 sq ft max Only applies <br>if > 800 sq ft
Attached ADU Same as primary home zone 800 sq ft exempt <br> 1,200 sq ft max
Junior ADU N/A 500 sq ft Exempt from FAR

A generous 800-square-foot ADU allowance gets an exemption from the maximum lot/floor area ratio defined in Solana Beach’s base zoning. However, grading for ADU laws in Solana Beach is capped at only 50 cubic yards. This aims to limit land disturbance but poses challenges for two-story detached buildings.

JADUs up to 500 sq ft do not count toward allowable FAR at all – a major incentive. But they must be incorporated within the existing single-family home.

Streamlined Approval Process for ADU Laws in Solana Beach

Gaining permits for an ADU or JADU in Solana Beach involves:

  1. Evaluating existing development, and zoning to assess feasibility
  2. Designing the ADU to comply with dimensional standards
  3. Electronic submission of complete plans and application
  4. Payment of planning/building permit fees
  5. Construction within 180 days of permit issuance
  6. Final inspections for certificate of occupancy

adu laws in solana beach permits

The city must review and approve fully compliant ADU applications ministerially within 60 days. This standardized process is faster than discretionary review, which forces delays and uncertainty over factors subject to interpretation.

ADU laws in Solana Beach are also exempt from:

  • Public notification/hearing
  • Environmental review
  • Additional parking requirements
  • Zoning code provisions like density and FAR that might prohibit ADUs

However, the stringent 50-cubic-yard grading limit poses challenges for two-story detached ADUs requiring excavation. The grading threshold to trigger a separate permit governing extensive land alteration is only 100 cubic yards citywide.

So ADU applicants must carefully site and design units to conform to topography. A review from stormwater, engineering, and landscape staff may be required as well during permitting.

Summarizing ADU Laws in Solana Beach

  • Single-family lots can have one ADU plus a junior ADU meeting development criteria
  • 4-foot setback allowance eases constraints for ADU sitting
  • 800 sq ft ADUs are exempt from FAR, lot coverage, and other barriers
  • The approval process is faster and easier compared to additions or remodeling
  • Strict grading limits require sensitive ADU design to suit properties.

adu laws in solana beach local contractors

Interested San Diego homeowners can reach out to ADU specialists for guidance in interpreting ADU laws in Solana Beach evolving ADU codes, and determining project options. The arduous feasibility stage is critical before investing further time and money, given the city’s particular restrictions.

Professional expertise also aids in creating designs optimized to comply with dimensional standards, setbacks, and grading allowances. This helps secure permits quickly through the more ministerial ADU approval process.