Adopt State Law, as Written, to Encourage ADU Creation

Shasta County and the City of Redding are entertaining regulatory options to increase affordable housing, a laudable goal.  Attached is discussion on why change to Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulation is appropriate, based on recent failure of three of three proposed ADU projects.  One clear choice for regulatory reform emerges: Adopt state ADU law, as written.

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Permissive statewide ADU regulatory reform, generous local fee incentives, and profit were motivating factors in Affordable Housing Associates three failed accessory dwelling unit submissions.   Local regulations proved to be stoppers.  Building officials had no choice but to deny these 3 ADU proposals because local regulations clearly said “No.”  Had local jurisdictions adopted state ADU law, as written, these projects would have assuredly sailed through the regulatory process and be built by now.

Problematic details with ADU regulation abound, as do options for solutions.  Providing affordable housing, like solving homelessness, has proven a vexing political problem.  Despite the seeming impossibility for finding a solution, one clear choice emerges:  Adopt state ADU law, as written.

Interjurisdictional coordination and developmental standards consistency can easily be accomplished by simply adopting state ADU standards, as written.  Codified ADU laws are in place, accompanied by plainly written, direct and unambiguous philosophical guides and technical explanations.  Staff time and expense working the details of jurisdictional harmonizing would be minimal.  Implementation times could not be shorter.  Importantly, adopting state ADU standards, as written, just might work!

Every community’s goal is to address a chronic shortage of affordable housing.  Our community’s need is urgent.  One policy choice provides a potential solution to the chronic affordable housing shortage: adopting state ADU standards, as written.  Importantly, it just might work, immediately!

You are invited to wade through the following ten page description of local regulatory issues.  As you study the universe of policy responses, consider simplicity, timeliness and the real possibility of success.  Success is easily measured:  Number of final inspections of affordable housing units.

In conclusion, adopting state ADU law, as written is the compelling policy choice.  Application of portions of the new, $75 recording fee (SB 2) would further incentivize ADU creation.