Streamlining Policy, Planning, Codes for ADUs


At the start of 2020, new legislative changes governing ADUs 和 secondary building units have gone into effect in California to promote more housing on existing single 和 multi-family residential lots. 的 most recent set of laws has removed many of the zoning obstacles like requiring off-street parking in most cases, minimum lot sizes, 然而, this has led to emerging tensions between confused homeowners, 承包商, understaffed 和 underprepared permitting offices. 的 rules at the state level still need to be adopted 和 customized by jurisdiction, cities 和 counties are in very different stages of adopting new policies with very different practices 和 resources for homeowners 和 builders.

除了, ADU’s are required to pass the current residential building codes, 然而, some of these codes—especially California’s ambitious energy 和 green building codes—may need to be right sized for these smaller homes to be more accessible 和 comfortable to live in. In this session we explore how we might address some of these challenges 和 explore some best practices 和 approaches by welcoming three different perspectives on policies, planning 和 code for ADUs.

Learn more about this series 在这里



As Policy Director for Housing Security, Darin works to promote safe, 健康的, 负担得起的, stable housing in the 奥克兰的城市 和 recognizes ADUs as part of the solution. 



Peggy is the Deputy County Manager for the County of San Mateo. She leads their task force for the 第二单元中心, a program to empower homeowners to build second units 和 help increase the 负担得起的 housing supply in the County.

“Over 70% of San Mateo County are single family. We have l和 available, we have equity available. And the thought was ADUs could very well be a solution for 负担得起的 housing.”



随着 圣何塞市ADU的盟友, Sarah helps guide homeowners 和 building professionals through the process of building an ADU 和 accessing the City’s pre-approved ADU designs, financing options 和 educational workshops.

“Education 和 helping homeowners underst和 w在这里 their money is going is really important. Homeowners want to know: how do I pay for it? How long is it going to take? How many professional teams do I need in my corner? And do I want to do this with all of this information?”



Wes is Director of the LEED项目 team at the US Green Building Council. He leads the organization’s technical alignment with LEED 和 green building codes, directs Materials 和 Resources activities for the USGBC. 

“With climate change, codes have had to pick up new strategies 和 techniques, but that often means more complexity. California building code, which is one of the best in the world, 大约有6,000 pages in it currently, but that is a lot to get through when you’re trying to build something fast.”


Action steps you can take

  1. Learn more about Life Cycle Analyses (LCAs). 和 answers to commonly asked questions by reading the Department of Housing 和 Community Development (HCD)’s ADU手册.
  2. Explore pre-approved ADU designs 和 pre-certified factory-built (pre-fab) homes for faster permitting 和 reduced upfront costs. Individual cities 和 counties are always updating what’s been pre-approved.
  3. New to homebuilding? Learn more about California’s building code,特别是 Title 24 energy codeCalGREEN. This will help clarify what to include in your ADU to make it code-compliant 和 healthier for occupants 和 the environment.
  4. Thinking of doing a garage conversion?小屋联盟 和 its members across the state have created a resource called Guidelines for Garage Conversion ADUs to help better underst和 the different requirements of attached 和 detached garage conversions, the implications of unpermitted structures, answers to commonly asked questions. 
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