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California's New ADU Laws: A Game Changer or a Concern?

Updated: Feb 28




California has always been at the forefront of innovative housing solutions, and 2024 is no exception. The state's recent enactment of new laws concerning Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) is creating quite a stir. Let's delve into what these laws are and how they might impact homeowners and communities.


Selling ADUs Separately: A New Possibility

One of the groundbreaking laws, AB 1033, now gives cities the option to permit homeowners to sell their ADUs separately from the main house. This change opens up numerous possibilities but also raises some concerns.


The Positive Perspective: Advocates like Raphael Perez, Chair of the Casita Coalition, see this as a great opportunity. ADUs could be a more affordable housing option, offering ownership opportunities to those who may be priced out of the traditional housing market. It's not just about affordability; it's about accessibility and inclusivity in homeownership.


The Concern: On the flip side, Geoff Hueter, Chair of Neighbors for a Better San Diego, voices a different opinion. While not entirely opposed to AB 1033, Hueter highlights the gap between state and city regulations regarding the number of ADUs per property. There's a fear that this law might encourage developers to overcrowd neighborhoods, shifting the focus away from family homes.

What Cities Are Saying

Despite the law being in effect, many cities, including San Diego, are still evaluating its potential implementation. With varied responses from different cities, the future of ADU sales remains uncertain.

Other Notable Laws

It's not just about selling ADUs. Other laws like AB 976 and AB 434 are also part of this legislative package. AB 976 allows homeowners to rent out their ADUs, a practice that's been extended indefinitely. Meanwhile, AB 434 aims to expedite the adoption of ADUs in cities that have been slow to incorporate them.

A Complex Issue

While ADUs are seen as part of the solution to the housing crisis, they aren't the sole answer. As Rafael Perez puts it, ADUs are a way to "plug a leak" in the housing market but not a complete fix. A comprehensive strategy involving all types of housing in various neighborhoods is essential.

Now Over to You, Readers

How do you feel about these new ADU laws? Are you open to the idea of selling an ADU separately from your main house? This topic is not just about individual decisions; it's about shaping the future of our communities. Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Article Source: "California’s new ADU laws now in effect" by Steve Price, CBS 8

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