Best Practices

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Table of Contents

#affordable#archivedmaterials#bestpractices#bonus#communityoutreach#design#finance#nonprofit#policy#seniors

Websites

City of Calabasas ADU Webpage
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
The City of Calabasas developed a comprehensive ADU webpage that provides viewers with information about ADUs and the regulations associated with constructing an ADU in Calabasas.
City of San Diego Companion Unit Website
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#finance
#policy
The City of San Diego’s newly renovated “Companion Unit” website contains all information homeowners may want to access regarding ADUs, including links to code sections, information on fee schedules, and statistics on ADU construction in San Diego.
San Mateo County ADU Website
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#policy
Home for All San Mateo County’s ADU Website provides general information about ADUs, as well as links to jurisdictions with updated ADU ordinances in the County. The County also developed a “Second Unit Resource Center” that contains detailed design, policy, and procedural information regarding ADUs.
City of Santa Cruz ADU Website
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#finance
#policy
This website outlines policy and procedural requirements associated with constructing ADUs in the City of Santa Cruz. It notably contains fee estimates, and ocntact points from both the Planning and Building departments.
Make Room for Marin: Marin County ADU Webpage
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
Marin County’s “Make Room for Marin” website provides property owners with a step-by-step overview of the processes associated with ADU development.

Checklists and Handouts

San Diego County ADU Regulations
#communityoutreach
#policy
San Diego County’s ADU Zoning Division handout clearly outlines all planning requirements associated with ADU Projects in one central location.
San Francisco ADU Checklist (Single-Family Homes)
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#policy
San Francisco’s multi-agency ADU checklist clearly describes what features are required to be shown on ADU permit submittals. It also contains links to more detailed requirements from each department involved in the permitting process.
San Francisco ADU Planning Requirements (Single-Family Homes)
#communityoutreach
#policy
San Francisco’s Planning Department developed a comprehensive document that outlines every potential scenario/code requirement that a property owner could run into in developing an ADU. This document is tailored towards single-family homes adding one ADU, but there is also one for multifamily homes.
San Jose ADU Checklist
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#policy
San Jose’s universal ADU checklist clearly and simply outlines all requirements associated with pulling an ADU permit in the city, and prompts people to contact their “ADU Ally” with any specific ADU questions.
Sebastopol ADU Checklist
#archivedmaterials
#communityoutreach
#policy
Sebastopol’s ADU Checklist provides a high-level overview of planning requirements, fees, and processes associated with ADUs.
Sebastopol ADU Primer
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
Sebastopol’s ADU Primer provides a user-friendly and digestible two page handout outlining key ADU definitions and requirements, with great graphic design.
Sunnyvale ADU Handout
Sunnyvale’s up-to-date ADU handout outlines key requirements associated with ADUs from each municipal department and provides contact information for homeowners seeking additional assistance

Pre-Approved Units

City of Clovis Cottage Home Program
#bestpractices
#policy
The City of Clovis developed a “Cottage Home Program,” that offers residents an opportunity to construct one of three free streamlined cottage home plans on their property with a rear yard facing an alley
City of Encinitas Permit Ready ADU Program
#bestpractices
#policy
The City of Encinitas developed a “Permit Ready ADU Program”, in which property owners can simply print out the plans available online and bring them in to the city for approval.
Humbolt County Pre-Approved Units
#bestpractices
#policy
Humbolt County provides pre-approved ADU Plans online, free of charge. Although these plans are not compliant with current building codes, the County provides guidance on how the plans can be updated to meet current requirements and gain approval.
San Diego County Pre-Approved Plans
#bestpractices
#policy
San Diego County provides pre-approved plans and CAD files to any interested homeowner.
City of San José Pre-approved ADUs
#bestpractices
#policy
The City of San José maintains a list of designers and builders on their webpage who offer pre-approved detached ADU building plans, which means homeowners can go through expedited plan review.

Reports and Handbooks

City of Folsom ADU Design Workbook
#design
#finance
The City of Folsom prepared a two-part ADU Design Workbook that contains a review of the permitting, design, and financing process for basic ADUs and ADUs built in the city’s historic district.
Oakland ADU Initiatives Existing Conditions and Barriers Report (2020)
#communityoutreach
#finance
The City of Oakland produced an ADU report that contains a literature review, information on demographics and housing trends in the city, a review of Oakland’s current ADU regulations, a projection of the City’s ADU potential, a finance section, and information solicited from community members.
San Francisco ADU Handbook
#archivedmaterials
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#finance
#policy
San Francisco developed a comprehensive “Accessory Dwelling Unit Handbook” which provides detailed information about ADU regulations, financing, and design. It is important to note that the content of this handbook is now outdated and does not reflect the requirements of the 2019 legislation passed at the state and local level.

ADU Finance

San Mateo County: One Stop Shop Program
#finance
San Mateo County, Hello Housing, and the Cities of East Palo Alto, Pacifica, and Redwood City partnered to launch this program. Participating homeowners receive no-cost support from Hello Housing with the design, permitting, and project management involved with building an ADU.
Monterey Bay: My House My Home Program
#affordable
#finance
Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay partners with the City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County, and Senior Network Services to operate the My House My Home Program, which builds affordable ADUs for low income senior homeowners in the area.
Santa Cruz County: ADU Forgivable Loan Program
#affordable
#finance
Santa Cruz County partners with a local bank to implement the County’s ADU Forgivable Loan Program, which offers loans up to $40,000 to homeowners who rent the ADU to low-income households at affordable rents for up to 20 years. The loan is forgiven after 20 years if the ADU has been rented with this restriction.
City of Clovis: ADU Finance Program
#finance
In partnership with the City of Clovis, Self-Help Enterprises will provide financing to eligible property owners seeking funding to build or repair Accessory Dwelling Units on their existing single-family lot. The program targets the City of Clovis’ existing ADU Program/ Cottage Home Program.

ADU Bonus Programs

City of Carlsbad Inclusionary Zoning Bonus
#affordable
#bonus
#policy
One way that developers of single family homes can comply with the city’s inclusionary housing ordinance is by constructing ADUs that have a deed restriction. The deed restriction lasts for a period of 55 years, and requires that rent for the ADU be restricted to a low income level and that tenants be income qualified. The city’s inclusionary housing ordinance is a part of the zoning ordinance and applies to residential projects of seven or more units.
Town of Ross Floor Area Bonus
#affordable
#bonus
#policy
The Town of Ross utilizes a clause in the Zoning Code that allows homeowners to have additional square footage in their ADU with an affordability contract. Currently the maximum floor area allowed by right is 1,000 square feet. However, up to 1,200 square feet can be approved with Council action and an affordability contract. The affordability is monitored through the Town’s business license process. After 20 years the Council can consider terminating the affordability contract.

FAQ's

Casita Coalition 2019 State Legislation FAQ
#policy
The Casita Coalition produced a document that answers frequently asked questions about the 2019 state-level ADU legislation, with input from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.
City of San Jose FAQ
#bestpractices
#communityoutreach
#finance
#policy
The City of San Jose’s ADU FAQ answers common policy, financing, and procedural questions associated with obtaining an ADU permit and completing construction.

Best Practices Resources

Affordability in ADUs Research
#bestpractices
#finance
This document provides information on jurisdictions across the country that are working to increase affordability of constructing and financing ADUs. The content of this report was supplied by Baird & Driskell Community Planning.
ADU Best Practices
#bestpractices
#policy
This document provides information on jurisdictions across that country that have ADU “Best Practices” in place. The content of this report was supplied by Baird & Driskell Community Planning.

Non-Governmental Organizations

LA Más: The Backyard Homes Project
#nonprofit
LA Más is a non-profit organization whose Backyard Homes Project provides a “one-stop shop” Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program that enables the average homeowner to become a provider of affordable housing. They support Northeast Los Angeles homeowners in building an ADU in exchange for renting their unit affordably to a Section 8 voucher holder for a minimum of 5 years.

Promising Practices

City of LA: ADU Accelerator Program
#affordable
#seniors
The City of LA pairs older adults with homeowners willing to provide a stable home by offering their accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as affordable rentals. In exchange, homeowners receive benefits such as qualified tenant referrals, tenant case management, and stable rental payments.
LA County: ADU Pilot Program
#affordable
#finance
Homeowners who rent their units to individuals or families experiencing homelessness for 10 years receive a $75,000 forgivable loan, guaranteed through a deed of trust and promissory agreement, to help cover the costs of building an ADU. Five homeowners were selected for this pilot program, and two ADUs are expected to be placed in service during Fall 2020.
City of San Diego: Density Bonus for Multiple ADUs
#affordable
#bonus
#policy
The City of San Diego is poised to adopt a new ADU bonus program in Fall 2020. One additional ADU will be permitted for every ADU if it is set aside as affordable for very low income, low income, or moderate income households for a period of 15 years, guaranteed through a written agreement and a deed of trust. An unlimited number of ADUs will be allowed in transit priority areas. Outside of transit priority areas, the number of bonus ADUs permitted will be limited to one.