Companion Unit  
                                                     City of San Diego 
                                       Development Services Department 

 A Companion Unit is a detached or attached 
accessory structure on a residential lot that
provides living facilities for one or more persons,
independent of the primary dwelling unit, which
includes permanent provisions for living, sleeping,
and cooking.  
 
 .

COMPANION UNIT A. Zoning
1.  Permitted     as    a    limited    use     in residential zones.

2.  Permitted  as a limited use in  multiple dwelling unit residential  zones  where the maximum allowable density is two units based on the existing  lot area.

3. Within the Coastal Overlay Zone, a Coastal  Development  Permit  is required for a companion  unit.
 

B. Size
1.  An attached   companion unit  shall not
exceed    50   percent   of   the   existing
habitable  area of the primary dwelling
unit, up to a maximum of 1,200 square
feet.      A   detached   dwelling  unit  is
permitted  up to a maximum  of 1,200
square feet.

2.  Installation of  a  fire  sprinkler  system shall not be required for new Companion Units or Junior Units, as defined  in the  SDMC (and stated  per
2016   California  Senate   Bill  1069   as
Accessory   Dwelling  Units)   that   are
1,200   sq.   ft.  or  less   in  area   when
located on the same  lot as an existing
non-sprinklered dwelling unit.
 

 C. Setbacks
1.  An existing  permitted  garage  or non-
habitable   accessory   structure   within 

setbacks may be converted,  subject  to
California Building Code.

2.  A    companion    unit   may   encroach within the side and rear yards   as follows:
a. A one story    structure,  up to a maximum encroachment of 30 feet in length.
b.  A    second    story,   if   constructed above an existing permitted  garage or  non-habitable  accessory structure.
 

D. Parking
1.  One parking space  is required,  unless
one of the following conditions is met:
a.  Unit is 500 square feet or less.
b.  Site  is  within the  Transit  Area  or
Transit Priority Area.
c.  Site is within a historical designated
area.
d. Site  is located  within a  residential
parking district.
e.  Site is located within one block of a
car or bike share station.

2.  The  conversion   or  demolition   of  a garage  requires  replacement parking, in addition to the one required space. The parking may be placed within setbacks or in a tandem configuration.
 

 E.  Other
1.  A companion  unit may not be sold or
conveyed  separately   from  the  main

dwelling unit. 

2. The owner does not need to live in the
primary dwelling unit nor companion
unit and both can be rented. A
companion unit cannot be used for a
rental term of less than 30 consecutive
days.

3. Only one Companion Unit is allowed
on a premises.  A Junior Unit is not
allowed on a site with a Companion
Unit.  Guest Quarters and nonhabitable

structures are permitted on
the same premises.
 

COMPANION UNIT - CITY OF SAN DIEGO

 2016 By Rummy Dechner

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