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Solana Beach has relied on new state laws regarding accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to meet housing goals. The city hopes to incentivize the construction of more ADUs. File photo
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What you need to know to build your ADU

Stuck at home? Need more space? Kids keep interrupting those Zoom meetings? Consider building an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). 

In addition to providing the perfect home office, ADUs provide a great place for guests, can generate rental income, or can serve as living space for extended family.

ADUs or Junior Accessory Dwelling Units (JADUs), also known as “in-law suites” or “granny flats” provide an affordable and efficient way to add space.

ADUs can either be an attached or detached residential unit that provides complete independent living facilities built on the same lot as an existing single-family dwelling that is zoned for single-family or multifamily use.

A JADU is a 500 SF max ADU created by converting part of an existing residence (such as a spare bedroom or attached garage).

Now is the time to call Cross Construction Inc to build an ADU as California state law has changed to encourage the building of more affordable housing.

For example, different cities in North County have adopted and updated their own ordinances to make building ADUs more feasible and affordable. Cross Construction is a local builder that specializes in ADUs and can help you navigate the ADU process.

San Diego is on forefront of the ADU push and views ADUs as a way to tackle affordable housing while still preserving the communities’ character. The City of Encinitas deployed the Permit Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit (PRADU) program as part of its Housing for Generations program, which provides homeowners with a selection of eight pre-approved ADU building plans. Designed by talented local architects, the plans range from a small 224 SF studio to a 1,200 SF three bedroom unit.

The County of San Diego also offers six pre-approved ADU designs that range from 600 SF to 1,200 SF. These plans along with the City of Encinitas PRADU plans can also be submitted to the City of San Diego.

These programs reduce designs costs and time, provide an expedited permitting process, and waive certain permit fees.

Many homeowners throughout San Diego are building ADUs since the state now says they can be built concurrently with a single-family home. Additionally, the new laws have opened areas were ADUs can be built, reduced fees and parking requirements, and amended building setbacks from property lines.

Here are some of the most critical 2020 ADU rule changes in California:

• Setbacks for new ADUs have been reduced to 4’ for side and rear yards. This opens up space for ADU development in many backyards.

• HOAs (Home Owners Associations) nor property CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) can reasonably prohibit development of an ADU or JADU.

• Homeowners can build two ADUs on a single-family zoned property, one full ADU and one JADU.

• Prior to 2020 ADUs were limited by lot size, lot coverage along with other restrictions, but starting in 2020 an ADU up to 800 SF and 16’ tall can be built without any local discretionary approvals.

Cross Construction Inc, a local general contractor that specializes in custom homes, extensive remodels, landscape and ADUs has recently seen a significant increase in the interest and demand for ADUs. “Besides increasing property value, generating additional income, ADUs offer multigenerational living and an overall great lifestyle,” said Cross Construction Inc.’s Chief Operating Officer Cailin Drakos. “With the changes to state law coupled with the PRADU and pre-approved ADU plans, ADUs are a great option for many homeowners. We’ve built several of the PRADU units and all of the homeowners have been very happy with the designs and cost savings that the program offers.

“It’s a great program that all Encinitas and San Diego homeowners should be aware of, along with the changes in the ADU state laws. Due to the evolving needs of homeowners and affordable housing in California, we foresee the interest in ADUs to continue to grow.”

For more information about Cross Construction Inc. visit their website at and follow them on social media @crossconstructioninc. Phone: 760.758.3639; Email: [email protected].