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What’s an ADU and How Can You Benefit?

May 01, 2020 05:41PM ● By Elena Hutslar

What’s an ADU and How Can You Benefit?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units, and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, and an effective option for adding much needed housing in California. ADUs have grown exponentially in number as more cities, counties, and homeowners become interested in increasing the supply of affordable housing.

What are the benefits of ADUs?

  • ADUs are an affordable type of home to construct in California because they do not require paying for land, major new infrastructure, structured parking, or elevators.
  • ADUs can provide a source of income for homeowners.
  • ADUs allow extended families to be near one another while maintaining privacy.
  • ADUs can provide as much living space as many newly built apartments and condominiums, and they’re suited well for couples, small families, friends, young people, and seniors.
  • ADUs give homeowners the flexibility to share independent living areas with family members and others, allowing seniors to age in place as they require more care.

In October 2019, California Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 68 (AB68), into law making it easier and more affordable to build accessory dwelling units.

Summary of recently enacted, new ADU rules in California:

·              Faster ADU plan review times

·              Local agencies are prohibited from imposing strict requirements that exceed state mandates.

·              More flexible ADU size and set back requirements

·              Allows both regular size and “junior” ADUs on the same property

·              Allows ADUs for multi-family units and duplexes

·              Prohibits local agencies from charging “impact fees” for ADUs under 750 sq. ft.

 

Regardless of its physical form, an ADU is legally part of the same property as the main home it resides near. It cannot be bought or sold separately as a condominium might. The owner of the ADU is the owner of the main home. 

Installing an ADU in your backyard will certainly increase your property value. After all, it is an additional permanent living space on your lot. The kitchen, bathroom, and bedrooms are viewed as additions to your primary home.

 

To discuss your options and see how these new rules can help you, contact your Central Contra Costa County resource, ADU4You, a one stop shop that handles the entire project at a fixed, affordable cost. 925-979-5516 or [email protected]