Accessory Dwelling Unit
An accessory dwelling unit is a simple and old idea: having a second small dwelling right on the same grounds, or attached to or inside, your regular single-family house, such as:
- an apartment over the garage
- a tiny house (on a foundation) in the backyard
- a basement apartment
Definition source: https://accessorydwellings.org/what-adus-are-and-why-people-build-them/
- 1 Alternative names
- 2 Issues
- 3 Types
- 4 Municipal regulations & guides
- 5 References
Accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is the official name adopted by the State of California as of September 2017. Other jurisdictions may differ in terminology. Over time ADUs have assumed many names depending on cultural, regional, or communal consensus. Here are just a few terms synonymous with ADU used to describe "second units" on single-family properties:
- accessory apartment
- accessory dwelling
- accessory dwelling unit (the most commonly used term among planners, but weirdly, not used currently on Wikipedia)
- accessory suite (used here to specify an attached ADU)
- accessory unit
- ancillary unit
- backyard cottage
- basement apartment
- carriage house
- dawdy' house (among Amish)
- garden cottage (used to specify a detached ADU)
- garden suite (used mostly in Canada)
- Grand Retreat (a commercial name)
- granny cottage
- granny flat
- granny pod [example]
- granny unit
- home within a home (used by Lennar marketing)
- in-law suite
- in-law unit
- “JADU” or “junior accessory dwelling unit” — a small, internal ADU
- laneway house
- mother-in-law flat
- “mother-daughter” or “mother/daughter” house
- multigenerational homes
- Next Gen (a commercial name)
- Ohana unit (in Hawaii)
- secondary suite (more common name in Canada)
- second unit
- secondary unit
- secondary dwelling unit
- tiny house [sometimes these are ADUs, sometimes not — see this]
- two-family house
Arguments for ADUs
ADUs are most widely used to allow extended family to live together in one location, creating a multi-generational household. More recently, ADUs are being viewed as investment opportunities for homeowners. For first time home buyers, an ADUs help accelerates mortgage paydown, or homeowners from older generations may establish an ADU from underutilized space to generate additional retirement income.
ADUs are legally permissible in many cities and states, but regulations about size, placement, design, and use vary widely. For more information about your local land use laws visit your municipal planning department website or call to speak with a planner as rules change frequently. Recently, many public officials are recognizing the potential for ADUs to satisfy housing needs in their local communities.
For example, California Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill No. 1069 in September 2017 requiring local city governments to adopt ordinances allowing ADUs, effectively legalizing the building of ADUs at the state level.
There are many reasons and motivations for a homeowner to build an ADU, but one thing they have in common is the provision of housing. The commodification of housing is very complex and causes many unintended consequences, chief among them is affordability. ADUs present a good opportunity to introduce a social factor alongside the economic benefits of building housing. Plus, the economic benefits for building ADUs goes toward local small property owners.
Can an ADU be mobile, e.g. a mobile tiny house?
Should an ADU have to be tied to a main house?
What if homeowners could subdivide their lots by-right?
Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (DADU)
Junior Accessory Dwelling Unit (JADU)
In multi-unit building
Affordable Accessory Dwelling Unit (AADU)
Municipal regulations & guides
November 10, 2016 Amendments to Title 20 (Zoning Code): http://sanjose.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=&event_id=2658&meta_id=600778. (24MB PDF).
Secondary Unit worksheet: https://www.sanjoseca.gov/DocumentCenter/View/615.
see also "Bulletin #250: Accessory Buildings and Structures. (non-dwelling): 6 Feb, 2017. http://www.sanjoseca.gov/documentcenter/view/1729
Scheinin, Richard. “Bank funds ‘granny’ units project in affordable housing experiment for San Jose, L.A.” Mercury News, October 9, 2017. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/09/an-affordable-housing-experiment-for-san-jose-and-los-angeles-bank-funds-pilot-project-to-help-build-granny-units/.
Giwargis, Ramona. “San Jose eases rules to build granny units to increase housing stock.” Mercury News, November 22, 2016. http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/22/san-jose-eases-rules-to-build-granny-units-a-new-source-of-affordable-housing/.
City of Boulder "Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)" page: https://bouldercolorado.gov/housing/adu.
- Accessorydwellings.org - Portland-based portal for ADU info, probably the top information reference existing. Run by Kol Peters and Eli Spevak, alternative housing / ADU leaders.
- Boulder, Colorado [City of]. "Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). https://bouldercolorado.gov/housing/adu.
- Dineen, J. K. "New trend: Random spaces in existing buildings becoming rental housing." San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Dec 2017. http://www.sfchronicle.com/politics/article/New-trend-Random-spaces-in-existing-buildings-12420435.php.
- Get help building an ADU: https://oviddesigndevelop.com.
- Giwargis, Ramona. “San Jose eases rules to build granny units to increase housing stock.” Mercury News, November 22, 2016. http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/11/22/san-jose-eases-rules-to-build-granny-units-a-new-source-of-affordable-housing/.
- Huang, Josie. “[ttp://www.scpr.org/news/2017/12/25/79179/la-embracing-granny-flats-more-than-anywhere-else/ Popular granny flats create a niche industry in LA.]” KPCC, 25 December, 2017. http://www.scpr.org/news/2017/12/25/79179/la-embracing-granny-flats-more-than-anywhere-else/.
- McCormick, Kathleen. "ADUs for all the right reasons." [Boulder] Daily Camera, 5 Jan 2018. http://www.dailycamera.com/guest-opinions/ci_31572459/kathleen-mccormick-adus-all-right-reasons.
- Monahan, Rachel. “Are Tiny Houses a Solution to the Rental Crisis—Or Just a Good-Looking Symptom of It?” Willamette Week [Portland, OR], 25 October 2017. http://www.wweek.com/news/city/2017/10/25/are-tiny-houses-a-solution-to-the-rental-crisis-or-just-a-good-looking-symptom-of-it/.
- Regan, Matt. "Techonomics: New California Laws with Matt Regan of the Bay Area Council." (interview on KGO 810, 30 Sept 2016).
- Scheinin, Richard. “Bank funds ‘granny’ units project in affordable housing experiment for San Jose, L.A.” Mercury News, October 9, 2017. http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/09/an-affordable-housing-experiment-for-san-jose-and-los-angeles-bank-funds-pilot-project-to-help-build-granny-units/.
- Toor, Will. "It's time for council to act on granny flats and backyard cottages." [Boulder] Daily Camera, 9 Dec 2017. http://www.dailycamera.com/columnists/ci_31512744/will-toor-its-time-council-act-granny-flats.
- Wegmann, Jake. "Insights to Guide the Future of ADU Development." [keynote at 2017 Build Small Live Large conference]. http://buildsmall-livelarge.com/session/keynote-ii-jake-wegmann/.
Research query for Twitter references (from:YIMBYwiki OR from:houslets OR from:tmccormick) AND (#accessorydwelling OR #accessorydwellings OR ADU OR ADUs):