ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) offer an ideal opportunity to maximize and integrate housing choices for varying incomes and needs within existing neighborhoods and community design guidelines in ways that don’t lead to sprawl. Further, ADUs can also address a variety of housing needs and provide affordable, market-rate housing options for family members, friends, students, retirees, in-home health care providers, those with disabilities, and others.
I am a long-time advocate for ADUs in Healdsburg (also known as second dwellings, mother-in-law units, or granny units). Since my days on the Healdsburg Planning Commission (1995-1999), I have been working with the Healdsburg City Council to allow more flexibility in the unit size and to lower the building permit fees for these more affordable small units. Before, ADUs could only be a maximum of 640 sq.ft. with one bedroom – **Update: City of Healdsburg modifies ADU Ordinance. You may now build and ADU of up to 1200 sq.ft. with significantly reduced City fees for ADU's less than 851 sq.ft.. Fees for larger ADU's (851-1,200 sq.ft.) are approximately 1/2 the fee for a standard home. The City is working on an informational brochure for property owners interested in this Affordable-by-Design Community Housing opportunity.
In 2016 the California legislature found and declared that, among other things, allowing ADUs in single family and multifamily zones provides additional rental housing and are an essential component in addressing housing needs in California. I have designed more than a dozen ADU's in Sonoma County.
In June of 2019, I attended the Accessory Dwelling Academy held in Portland Oregon. I earned ADU Specialist designation from Earth Advantage.