MARIN COUNTY, CA — Several new tools are available for homeowners interested in building an accessory dwelling unit in Marin County.
ADU Marin is a new partnership between 10 local cities and towns and the county. The group launched a step-by-step website and workbook along with a webinar series to guide people through the process of building an ADU, also known as a second unit, a granny flat, an in-law unit or a converted garage.
Creating more housing options, especially affordable units, has been a top priority of local cities, towns and the county for years, county officials said. ADUs are a way to create more housing without an increase in suburban sprawl.
“There is a significant opportunity for more growth in accessory dwelling units in Marin,” said Jillian Nameth Zeiger, a planner with the Community Development Agency.
“We are already seeing moderate growth, but these new tools can assist homeowners in the process and create more homes for our workforce. Having people be able to live close to where they work is not only good for morale and a sense of community, but it’s good for the planet because it reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”
The new website covers each step of the process, from thinking about building to obtaining permits and starting construction. It features stories from homeowners who have built an ADU and renters now living and working in Marin, along with more than a dozen floor plans. There is also a calculator to figure out what it might cost and what rent could be.
The workbook goes deeper into the process and is full of exercises, checklists and activities.
To introduce the new tools, webinars will be held on Oct. 26, Oct. 29 and Nov. 5. The webinars will take place from 6:30-8 p.m.
- Oct. 26 – Belvedere, Tiburon, Sausalito, unincorporated Southern Marin. Register online.
- Oct. 29 – Larkspur, Corte Madera, San Anselmo, unincorporated West Marin. Register online.
- Nov. 5 – Mill Valley, Ross, Fairfax, unincorporated Central Marin. Register online.
More than 70 ADUs have been created in unincorporated Marin over the past two years, according to the county. Although growth has been slower in local cities and towns, surrounding Bay Area counties are seeing steady increases in the number of ADUs built and now available for rent.
“With housing such a huge priority, there is much more assistance available now than there used to be for people thinking about creating an ADU to supplement their income,” Nameth Zeiger said. “In the bigger picture, we hope people will investigate ADUs as a way to improve the quality of life for our workforce. Providing a home for an individual or family can be rewarding and promote a feeling of community.”