Say “Adieu” to ADU restrictions

Accessory Dwelling Units, also known as ADUs, are expanding in popularity as one solution to strained housing markets across the country. Typically made to be smaller and with fewer resources than primary dwellings, ADUs add to the housing supply without the need for additional land, parking, or major infrastructure. They can also be beneficial for homeowners, who look to ADUs as a way to earn extra income, age in place, or add space for visitors or extended family.

On October 9, 2019, Governor Newsom signed SB-330, which removes local barriers and zoning requirements for the construction of ADUs, reducing overall unit construction costs and significantly increasing the number of lots available for ADU development. These new laws also modify fees from utilities such as special districts and water corporations and reduce parking requirements, according to California’s Department of Housing and Community Development. Also reduced are impact fees, which could be in the tens of thousands of dollars for just one project–a prohibitive number for many would-be ADU owners.

California’s new laws follow a trend around the country, with places like Illinois and New York City considering easing the restrictions on ADUs to promote housing growth. New York City’s plan includes a possible loan program to help ease the financial burden of ADUs and to encourage development. And with legislation changes and a rise in interest comes significant growth in prefab development, which will allow ADUs to be live-in ready even quicker.

To help with the surge of ADU zoning and permitting requests in California and across the nation, OpenCounter has designed an ADU portal that guides homeowners through the ADU permitting process while also saving staff time and resources.

The portal includes policy and resource guidance for both applicants and staff, ADU type determination, fee estimation, and internal workflow integration. If you want to learn more about how we can help you grow your local housing stock while saving staff time and resources, reach out to us here.