Los Altos Homeowners Can Beat the Housing Crunch with ADUs

With many Bay Area residents feeling the squeeze of the affordable housing crisis, one possible solution comes in the form of accessory dwelling units (ADU). These small homes/cottages share the same lot as the primary residence and are a great way to create additional living space and even provide extra income for homeowners.

Want to build your own ADU? It just got a little easier. On July 10, the Los Altos City Council approved an amended ADU ordinance that will roll back restrictions and introduce more options for housing in this packed market. This is good news, as ADUs are a smart way for homeowners to maximize their property’s value without sacrificing the integrity of their home or compromising the neighborhood’s charm.

First, the new rule allows for ADUs to increase in size from 800 square feet to 1,200 square feet and requires no minimum lot size for construction, whereas the previous ordinance mandated a lot size of 15,000 square feet. This will allow more people to take advantage of the benefits ADUs have to offer, particularly for those who own older homes.

The amended ordinance also no longer requires the homeowner to live on site, and it eliminates the previous two-parking-spot minimum. However, one parking spot is still required unless public transit is located within half a mile, a car-share station is on the block, or the home has historical or architectural significance.

Under this new rule, an existing structure on the property can also be converted into living space, including a garage or basement. In terms of design, the ADU and main home are required to have a number of matching features; and the door of the ADU cannot face the street.

Building an ADU is an economical and environmentally friendly way to add living space to your property, generate income, or provide a place for guests and relatives to stay – ADUs are also known as granny flats or in-law units for a reason, after all.

Ready to take advantage of these exciting changes and build your accessory dwelling unit? Contact us today for a free, in-home design consultation.

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