Permit Ready No Cost Building Plans
New! Companion Units can now be processed over-the-counter. Detached one-story units, add ons conversions of garages or accessory structures all qualify. You can also submit permit-ready, no-cost building plans from the
New! Companion Units can now be processed over-the-counter. Detached one-story units, additions and conversions of garages or accessory structures all qualify. You can also submit permit-ready, no-cost building plans from the County of San Diego (link is external) and the City of Encinitas Permit-Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit (PRADU) program (link is external) for the construction of new Companion and Junior Units in existing single-family or multi-family properties citywide. The plans still must meet the City of San Diego submittal guidelines for a building permit.
Companion Units, also referred to as accessory dwelling units, casitas, cottages or granny flats, are detached or attached accessory structures on a residential lot that:
- Provide living facilities for one or more persons;
- Are independent of the primary dwelling unit; and
- Include permanent provisions for living, sleeping and cooking.
A Junior Unit is an accessory structure that is contained entirely within an existing, habitable single dwelling unit.
Both Companion and Junior Units can be integrated into existing single-family or multi-family properties and can be designed in a variety of ways, including converting a portion of an existing house, adding to the existing house, converting an existing garage or constructing a new detached structure. These are intended as housing, and shall not be used for a rental term of less than 30 consecutive days. Learn more about Companion and Junior Units.
Companion and Junior Units are an integral part of the City’s Housing SD initiatives that will help increase housing affordability and supply citywide. The City has amended regulations that make it easier and less expensive to build Companion and Junior Units, helping to provide affordable and below-market housing throughout the City. These amendments include:
- Requiring that rental periods for Companion or Junior Units be greater than 30 days.
- Expediting permit processing, plan review, and construction inspection times, and processing new companion unit permits over-the-counter for detached one-story units, additions, conversions of garages or accessory structures. With over-the-counter permitting, applicants may receive all approvals necessary for construction on the same day, rather than having to wait as long as two weeks to get plan corrections back.
- Allowing the use of permit-ready, no-cost building plans from the County of San Diego (link is external) and the City of Encinitas Permit-Ready Accessory Dwelling Unit (PRADU) program (link is external). The plans still must meet the City of San Diego submittal guidelines for a building permit.
- Increasing zoning flexibility.
- Waiving Development Impact Fees, Facility Benefit Assessment Fees, and General Plan Maintenance Fees.
- Increasing the maximum size of a project from 700 square feet to 1,200 square feet.
- Maintaining the existing setbacks for a permitted garage or a non-habitable accessory structure that is converted to a Companion Unit.
- Exempting qualified projects from requirements to create new parking spaces.
Here is a summary of the Companion Unit applications received, construction permits issued and the number of Companion Units completed by year.