Nothing Sluggish About ADU Construction

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Santa Cruz may be known for its banana slugs, but it hasn’t been sluggish when it comes to building accessory dwelling units (ADU). Recentdata shows Santa Cruz leads the region in ADU construction, producing about 5.6 ADUs for every 10,000 residents. San Mateo and Sonoma counties follow closely behind. It’s all part of a statewide surge in ADU construction following the passage of reform legislation (SB 1069) in 2016 that the Bay Area Council sponsored.

The Council has since sponsored several other bills that have made it easier, faster and less expensive for homeowners to build ADUs. Statewide, ADU construction increased by a whopping 300% from 2019 to 2022. The boom in ADUs was part of a strategy by the Council to increase housing density in neighborhoods historically reserved for single-family homes, at a time when many cities and counties have been resistant to changing zoning and other land use restrictions. The Council is continuing its advocacy for even more reforms that can propel the ADU bonanza. To engage in the Council’s housing policy work, please contact Vice President Louis Mirante.

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