Schedule ADU Consultation
(858) 264-2387 ext: 176
Schedule ADU Consultation (858) 264-2387 ext: 176

Del Mar ADUs

Everything about building Accessory Dwelling Units in Del Mar, CA

Research local zoning codes for ADU design
Calculate returns and costs to get financing
Get quotes to design and build your ADU project

Check your property's zoning, browse designs & get contractor estimates for your ADU project:

I'm interested in

Del Mar ADU Guidelines Last Updated 10/01/21

The city government of Del Mar will approve ADUs under California's statewide mandated regulations.
The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.


City Hint: The City of Del Mar permitted a total of 26 ADU projects in the past year of 2020.

Number of ADUs allowed:

o A single dwelling unit is permitted to have one detached ADU and one ADU (or JrADU) located within or attached to the primary dwelling unit. The primary dwelling unit can be existing or proposed.
o A duplex (two units on one lot) is permitted to have a maximum of two ADUs per lot. The primary dwelling units must be existing. Each primary dwelling unit can have one ADU that is located either within or attached to the primary dwelling unit or that is detached per the development standards that are applicable to ADUs on lots with a single dwelling unit.
o A lot with existing multiple dwelling unit development (i.e. RM-South) is permitted to incorporate ADUs into spaces that are not located within the dwelling units themselves. Instead, ADUs must be located as detached structures (maximum of two per lot) and/or within multiple dwelling unit building spaces that are 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 converted space of multi-dwelling unit buildings is 25 percent of the total number of existing dwelling units on the lot.
o JrADUs are allowed 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 permitted per lot.

Types of ADUs allowed:

Detached ADU, Attached ADU, Junior ADU are permitted. ADUs may be new construction or converted from existing space. JADUs must be converted from existing space.

Lot size:

State law precludes the City from applying a minimum lot size requirement

ADU size:

The interior floor space within the surrounding exterior walls of the ADU (calculated from the inside face of wall studs) shall not exceed 850 square feet in size, or 1,000 square feet maximum if the ADU has more than one bedroom


A setback of 4 feet shall be required for a new ADU structure, except as follows:
1. An existing legal non-conforming structure located within the setback, such as a garage or accessory building, may be converted to an ADU and maintain the non-conforming setback, unless a greater setback is needed for compliance with the building and safety standards of the California Building Code and California Fire Code.
2. The new structure shall comply with the required front yard setback of the applicable zone.
3. In all cases, the ADU shall comply with the required coastal bluff setback in the Coastal Bluff Overlay Zone and the required Beach Preservation Initiative setback in the Beach Overlay Zone.
4. On properties located between the ocean and the first public roadway, the ADU shall comply with the street yard setback of the applicable zone where necessary to protect public scenic views to the ocean.


Where an existing garage, carport, or covered parking is demolished or converted to an ADU, no replacement off-street parking shall be required.
P. The ADU shall provide one off-street parking space (covered or uncovered), unless one of the following parking exemptions applies in which case no parking is required:
1. The ADU would be located within the existing primary dwelling unit.
2. The ADU would be located within an existing accessory building on the property.
3. The ADU would be located on a property within a half mile of public transit, including a bus route, train station, or paratransit service, if applicable.
4. The ADU would be located in a designated historic district or on a property listed in a Register of Historic Resources (local, state, or national).
5. The ADU would be located on a property within one block of a designated car share parking location.

Fire Safety:

An automatic residential fire sprinkler system shall not be required for an ADU if the existing primary dwelling unit does not contain such a system.

Shape, materials and style:

The ADU shall be composed of the same or similar architectural style, details, colors, roof pitch, building materials, and exterior lighting as the primary dwelling unit on the property.


The maximum building height of any new building construction or expansion of an existing structure for the ADU shall not exceed 16 feet, except that a new ADU structure proposed within the Bluff, Slope, and Canyon Overlay Zone shall comply with the 14 foot maximum height limit of the Overlay Zone.

Design review:

Within 120 days of submittal of a complete application for an accessory dwelling unit Permit (ADU), administrative approval shall be granted by the Director of Planning and Community Development for an ADU Permit submitted in accordance with the procedure in Subsection A.1. or a Junior accessory dwelling unit (JrADU) request submitted in accordance with Subsection A.2. ADU Submittal Requirements. In addition to the general application and permit fees for planning and engineering review as applicable, the applicant shall submit the following to demonstrate compliance with Section 30.91.040 to the satisfaction of the Planning and Community Development Director:\r", "*= Any additional information as necessary to demonstrate the proposed ADU is exempt from discretionary review (see Subsection D.).\r", "* Notwithstanding the provisions of this Code, development of a JrADU designed in accordance with Section 30.91.050 shall be exempt from the requirement to obtain a discretionary permit in all cases. A request for an ADU designed in compliance with Section 30.91.040 shall be exempt from discretionary review as follows:\r", "* Exempt from a design review Permit (Chapter 23.28) in all zones including the Carmel Valley Precise Plan.\r", "* An administrative Coastal Development Permit in accordance with Subsection 30.75.080.E. shall be obtained for an ADU where: [required for residential construction].

Number of Bedrooms:

Not specified by State Standards.


Owner-occupancy will not be required for new Accessory Dwelling Units (conversion and new construction) built between 2020 and 2025. ~ According To SB13

Utility connections:

Local health officer approval where a private sewage disposal system is being used, if required. (State requirements)

Historic Requirements:

The ADU would be located in an architecturally and historically significant historic district or on a property listed in the California Register of Historic Places.

Coastal Areas:

In all cases, the ADU shall comply with the required coastal bluff setback in the Coastal Bluff Overlay Zone.


The ADU shall have a separate exterior entry from the primary dwelling unit.

Allowed Zones:

*** Beginning in 2020, according to state law, all residential zoning districts, including single-family and multi-family, are allowed to build Accessory Dwelling Units. ***

Residential Building Code:

The California Building Code (CBC) 2019 is adopted.

Call/Text ADU Operator (858) 264-2387
Dial Ext: 176

ADU Design Library

Browse hundreds of models to find the right fit for your property.

ADU Model 432 sqft

36 ft x 12 ft

ADU Model 256 sqft

16 ft x 16 ft

ADU Model 484 sqft

22 ft x 22 ft

Estimate Your ADU Potential
Costs / ROI

ADU Cost Estimate Range
Select ADU type



$100 / sf



$200 / sf
Select ADU type


Select ADU size

700 sf

This estimate is based on recently completed projects in the area and is inclusive of all typical soft costs such as permitting, design and engineering fees.

Get started

Take the next step on ADU Marketplace

Get advice from local expert ADU designers and builders

I'm interested in