City Has Handbook for Building Granny Flats
The City teamed up with the San Diego Housing Federation, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and the Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors (PSAR) to write the “Companion Unit Handbook,” a guide to help homeowners navigate the process of constructing a companion unit (granny flat) on their property. The handbook explains: a property’s zoning, and issues such as setbacks and parking; companion unit design and construction; permitting requirements; funding; supporting documents and resources. Go here to view a copy .
As a residential use, property owners may seek to build a Companion Unit or Junior Unit at their residential lot for a number of reasons. Primarily because a Companion or Junior Unit is a rentable unit that can be added to a single family home and in certain circumstances, a multi family residence.
Companion Unit means an accessory structure on a residential lot that provides independent living facilities for one or more persons, independent of the primary dwelling unit, which includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. City of San Diego Municipal Cod
Companion Unit means an accessory structure on a residential lot that provides independent living facilities for one or more persons, independent of the primary dwelling unit, which includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. City of San Diego Municipal Code.
Junior Unit means an accessory structure that is 500 square feet or less in size and is contained entirely within an existing, habitable single dwelling unit. The unit requires a separate exterior entry, with an interior connection to the main living area, and shall include an efficiency kitchen. City of San Diego Municipal Code 113.0103
Most residential lots in the urbanized areas of San Diego range from 5,000 – 6,000 square feet. Many residential lots are smaller or larger than this but are still allowed to include a Companion or Junior Unit. While this range of lot sizes is quite broad, it’s important to note that considerations other than zoning are important to consider, such as terrain and access. Zoning may allow a Companion or Junior unit, but the specifics of the property may present challenges.