Manhattan Beach, California

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is a beautiful beach community in Southern California. The city is known for its quaint beach town feel and its stunning ocean views. In recent years, the city has become increasingly popular with young families and retirees alike. The city is notable for its commitment to building accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

ADUs are small, secondary living units that are attached to or built on the same property as a single-family home. They can be used as a rental unit, in-law unit, or home office. The city of Manhattan Beach has been working hard to make it easier for residents to build ADUs.


All properties zoned for single family and multifamily use may be eligible to build ADUs.

Number of units

The number of ADUs you’re able to build depends on how your lot is zoned:

  • Lots zoned for single family use may add 1 ADU and 1 Jr. ADU (JADU).
  • Lots zoned for multi-family may add 2 new detached ADUs and at least one conversion ADU (interior conversion of existing building, but no more than 25% of the original number of units. (E.g. an apartment with 4 units may add 2 detached ADUs and 1 conversion ADU.)

Building size

  • The maximum size is 500.0 sq. ft. for a JADU
  • 850 sq. ft. max for a detached ADU
  • Attached ADU Max Size: 850 sf. – shall not exceed 50% of main dwelling

Building height

  • Building height detached ADU: 16′, or 26′ if ADU is above detached garage


  • Backyard Existing Structure Setback: 5’ft


State Law – No requirements for parking if any of the following true:

  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within one-half mile walking distance of public transit.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is located within an architecturally and historically significant historic district.
  • The accessory dwelling unit is part of the proposed or existing primary residence or an accessory structure.
  • When on-street parking permits are required but not offered to the occupant of the accessory dwelling unit.
  • When there is a car share vehicle located within one block of the accessory dwelling unit.

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