Accessory Dwelling Units, in Marin County

    Accessory Dwelling Units in Marin County. 

    Accessory Dwelling Units have been a hot topic for a long time, because of the shortage of housing in the larger Bay Area and Marin County has and is experiencing its own shortage of housing. I have been part of numerous discussions with other agents on the need for ADUs and the benefits they would bestow on both landlords and tenants. The topic usually arose from a senior needing to supplement their income while retaining their privacy and independence.

    An interesting note according to the CA.GOV site accessory dwelling units benefits are they;1. Affordable 2. A source of income for home owners 3. Allows extended families to be near each other while maintaining privacy 4. 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 . My opinion affordable is subjective and here in Marin an accessory unit can rent for $3,500 easily hardly affordable by many standards. ADUs are likely better utilized as a good source of income here in Marin or #3 and #4.

    Recent state legislation gives California cities more flexibility and latitude for allowing homeowners to build ADUs. Three separate bills were introduced and signed by Governor Brown during the last session; SB 1069 (Wieckowski), AB 2299  (Bloom), and AB 2406  (Thurmond). Each of these land use bills make it easier than ever for homeowners to take advantage of this attractive opportunity.

    The laws as I read them are working towards or putting in place; removing restrictive parking requirements, creating deed restrictions running with the land in relation to the 2 units not being able to be sold separately, limiting the size of the accessory unit, no additional set backs for garages converted to ADUs, reduce time for application approval on ADUs, allowing ADUs to be constructed in single family zoning and multi family and replace the 2 unit term with “accessory dwelling unit”.

    I have had numerous Marin buyers of the years have as one of their requirements, that there be a space with in the existing foot print of the subject property a place for an accessory dwelling unit, for all the reasons the CA.GOV site outlines.

    Marin County Board of Supervisors Agenda Preview for December 5                                                                                                                
    The Board will hear a request from the Community Development Agency to adopt a resolution to delegate authority to the Agency Director to temporarily waive building and planning fees for junior accessory dwelling units for approximately 12 months. The fee waiver is recommended to be capped at $1,500 for each permit received during that time frame. The recent North Bay wildfires resulted in the loss of thousands of homes, exacerbating the region’s housing shortage. Staff recommends that the County assist in mitigating the impact of increased demand for housing by encouraging and facilitating the creation of junior accessory dwelling units (room rentals within existing residences). Such units usually a small food preparation area and separate entrance/exit.

     Click on the following for a link to Marin County> Waiving Fees for Junior Accessory Dwelling Units

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