City of Escondido ADU Regulations & Zoning

Escondido Prefab ADU
What is all the buzz about ADUs in Escondido, CA? Want to learn about The City of Escondido ADU regulations? An ADU is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (aka Granny Flat or a small home) that can be built in your backyard and used for extended family or friends or as a rental property. It can be attached or detached from the main house.

The State of California is leading the nation in ADU development and regulations, and a great summary can be seen in the ADU handbook published by the State of California.

One of the most affordable types of ADUs is a prefabricated home. One of Escondido’s most active prefabricated ADU builders in Escondido is USModular Inc. “ADUs are becoming very popular for homeowners looking to generate rental income in their backyard or for families that have children or elderly parents moving home, as it gives everybody their own space, is affordable and ADU increases the value of the property,” says Todd Kesseler, CEO of USModular Inc.


Some of the Highlights of the State of California ADU Regulations Include:

  • Every residential property in California is allowed to have one ADU of up to 800 sq ft regardless of lot size, floor area ratio, or main residence size.
  • This ADU can be up to 16 ft in height.
  • Homeowners are allowed to build one attached ADU or one detached ADU and one JADU, all on the same property.
  • Cities must allow at least 850 sq ft for one-bedroom ADUs and at least 1,000 if the ADU has two or more bedrooms. Cities cannot impose smaller max sizes, but they can impose larger. Every City has specific regulations for size and bedroom count above 800.
  • Setbacks – Most cities have side yard and rear yard setbacks at 4’, but some cities allow 0’ setbacks, and some areas have fire department regulations that require 5’ setbacks – the bottom line is side and rear yard setbacks are much smaller now for ADUs.
  • Parking – Most cities want to see 1 off-street parking space on your property for the ADU, except when your home is located within ½ mile of public transit
  • Fire Sprinklers are required if the Main house has them or if ADU is not close to a fire hydrant.
  • Multifamily properties are allowed multiple ADUs
    Solar panels are not required for prefabricated ADUs but may be required on a site-built ADU
  • Condo your ADU – This is a new State of Ca law, and if/when adopted by cities – you will be allowed to sell your ADU as a separate unit.

City Of Escondido ADU Regulations Are Some of The Most Progressive In The State Of California!

  • Escondido, CA, has a population of 143,911
  • Median property value: $ 473,800
  • Single-family properties: 27,675
  • Persons per household: 3.21
  • Median rental value: $ 2,405
  • Multi-family properties: 17,188

Based on Escondido’s population, the number of Single-Family Homes, Multifamily Properties and Rental Value, there is a lot of opportunity for ADU construction in Escondido.


What is Prefabricated Construction?

  • Prefabricated construction means homes are built off-site in a factory, just like your car and most of every other item you use daily.
  • Prefabricated Homes are also known as Manufactured Homes and Modular Homes. Prefabricated Home plans are pre-approved by the State of California.
  • These homes are designed, reviewed, approved and inspected by the State of California.
  • The main benefits of Prefabricated Homes are they are less costly, faster to build in factories and have less impact on homeowners and neighbors.


FAQ About ADUs in Escondido, CA

Here are the answers to common questions that Escondido homeowners ask when considering adding an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to their property.

Does Escondido Zoning Allow ADUs In My Neighborhood?

In 2020 and 2021, new laws were passed, making it easier for Californians to build ADUs. Major changes to Escondido zoning regulations, permit requirements, and developmental standards went into effect, making it easier, faster and cheaper to build an ADU on your property.

How Many ADUs Can Escondido Homeowners Build on Their Property?

Escondido ADU rules allow one detached ADU and one junior ADU (a unit no more than 500 square feet located within the home) to be built on most single-family residential lots. If you live on a multifamily lot, you may be able to build two detached ADUs.

How Does USMODULAR Build ADUs?

We are prefabricated construction specialists. Our ADUs are built in a factory to ANSI – American National Building code (Tiny Homes), Federal/HUD building code (Manufactured Home) or CBC/Local Building code. We choose to build prefabricated construction as we have more control over the line and quality of construction. Also, prefabricated construction is less disruptive to residents of homes and neighborhoods as our time on site is minimal.

How Long Does Permitting an ADU Take in Escondido?

We recommend ordering your home while we are still in the permit phase to shorten the overall built time.

According to Escondido ADU Regulations, is a Parking Space Needed?

According to new state laws, an additional parking spot is not needed if the ADU is located within a half mile of a public bus stop or rail station, is on a street that requires on-street parking permits, but the permit has not been offered to the occupant of the ADU; or is located within one block of a public car-share program. If you do not meet this requirement – we will need to show space on your lot for ADU parking, and this can be on the existing driveway as a tandem space.

Are There Any Hidden Or Surprise Costs To Building An ADU In Escondido?

We offer all-inclusive pricing for standard ADU sites. If your lot has special circumstances (hillside, sewer pumps, septic, crane etc), we determine any additional fees charges for extra site work, upgrades, etc., with you upfront so you know your full cost to build an ADU in Escondido.

How Will An ADU Affect The Sale Price Of My Escondido Home?

An ADU can increase property value and boost the primary home’s price when it’s time to sell. However, many factors go into home prices, and every case is unique.

How Do I Know If An ADU Can Fit On My Property In Escondido?

Many properties can accommodate an ADU, and we offer ADUs ranging from 160 sq ft to 1,200 sq ft. Contact us for a free Virtual site assessment to determine if the property can fit an ADU.

How Does An ADU Access Sewer, Water And Electricity Lines?

In most cities, ADUs are allowed to connect to the primary home’s water, sewer, electricity and gas.

Can I Build An ADU On A Hillside In Escondido?

Cities often have special building regulations for hillside construction. The feasibility of hillside construction must be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Does It Make Sense For Me To Build An ADU On My Property?

That is a question only you can answer, but we can provide a few reasons why it might be:
You need extra space for aging parents or kids, and it’s expensive for them to live in an apartment
You want extra income and have unused space on your property.
For example, in many areas of Southern California, a 2- or 3-bedroom apartment is $2000 per month. If you finance a $200,000 ADU with a home refinance and use the equity of your home – typical payments on this loan are $900-$1000 / month. Economically, it seems to make sense as it can save family members on rent or help you earn $ every month.

What is a Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU)?

A Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU) in Escondido is a dwelling unit with independent exterior access that is no more than 500 square feet in size and contained entirely within a single-family residence, including an attached garage. The proposed JADU or the existing single-family residence must be owner-occupied.

USModular Inc. is a premier contractor of prefabricated homes and ADUs with over 40 years of experience in the industry. You can see the available floor plans and pricing at
Toll-Free: (888) 987-6638
Local: (951) 679-9907 Ext. 1

Check out our latest ADU projects!


US Modular

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