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How to Legalize an Unpermitted San Diego ADU?

San Diego ADU services

The San Diego area is a great place to live, offering a variety of housing options for those looking to call this area home. One of the more popular housing options for those looking to add additional living space without having to go through the process of building a new home is an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU).

ADUs provide an additional living space that can be used as a rental unit or for other purposes. Unfortunately, there are some instances where an ADU was built without obtaining the necessary permits. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to understand the legal steps you must take with ADU services in San Diego.

1. Navigate the Red Tape Sea

Don’t let the daunting task of navigating the red tape sea stop you from achieving your dream of making an unpermitted San Diego ADU a reality. With the right resources and guidance, you can make the process of legalizing your ADU a breeze! Start by getting in contact with the San Diego Planning Department and Municipal Code Compliance Division to get clued in on the rules and regulations associated with your project. You may also need to reach out to your local City Council Representative for a few helpful tips. Remember – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. But with patience and determination, you can make it happen!

2. Gather the Necessary Documentation

One of the most important steps in legalizing an unpermitted ADU in San Diego is gathering the necessary documentation. This can be a bit of a headache, but it’s worth it in the end, as it will help ensure that your ADU is properly legalized. To start, you’ll need to locate all the permits you had previously obtained for the ADU, if any. Additionally, you’ll need to gather a copy of your property survey, a copy of your property deed, and all the relevant permits. Finally, it’s a good idea to hire a professional to inspect your ADU and provide an official report. Once you’ve gathered all your documents, you’ll be ready to move forward with legalizing your San Diego ADU.

3. Submit your Application and Take a Deep Breath

Congratulations! You’ve done it: you’ve filled out all the paperwork and submitted your application to legalize your unpermitted San Diego ADU. Now, all that’s left to do is take a deep breath, relax, and wait for your application to be reviewed. This is the time to make sure you have all your ducks in a row, as the city’s review process can take several months. But don’t worry: you’ve done the hard part! All that’s left to do is sit back, wait, and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have taken all the necessary steps to legalize your unpermitted San Diego ADU.


Legalizing an unpermitted ADU in San Diego can be a daunting process, but with the right amount of research and knowledge, it can be done. It is important to work with the City of San Diego and to make sure all of the necessary paperwork is filed so the ADU can be approved and brought up to code. Once this is done, you can enjoy all the benefits of having an extra, legal space to enjoy.

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