New ADU Zoning Helps Palo Alto Housing Crisis & Unlocks Land Value

In March, the Palo Alto City Council responded to the housing crisis with a vote to approve a series of zoning reforms that encourage the construction of accessory-dwelling units (ADUs).

Most reforms were approved to comply with two recent bills (Senate Bill 1069 and Assembly Bill 2299), but the largest changes eliminate the minimum lot size requirement and allow for the construction of converted bedrooms, or “junior” ADUs. City Council also wants to create incentives for Palo Alto residents interested in building ADUs, specifically if the units are made available to low-income residents, public employees, seniors, or the disabled.

While some residents raised concerns over altering the character of single-family neighborhoods and aggravating parking problems, most believe encouraging the construction of ADUs is a logical next step to addressing the area’s housing crisis. Stan Acton, CEO of premier design-build firm, Acton ADU, is among them.

“The beauty of this new ordinance is that we can now create legal, architecturally beautiful structures that meet a wide variety of needs,” Stan comments. “Our clients are continually telling us they want a granny unit to better accommodate aging relatives, adult children living at home, out-of-town guests, or to provide a new stream of revenue. In fact, we’ve had requests for everything from student housing units and home offices to the quintessential personal escape – like art studios and meditation rooms.”

Stan assures that ultimately, “ADUs in Palo Alto benefit residents and the community. They — quite literally — unlock value in unused land. ADU construction can also be combined with other improvement projects for added convenience.”

If you’re considering an ADU, in-law suite, guesthouse, or backyard cottage, contact Acton ADU to start the conversation. We’re passionate about helping you develop a creative and functional plan for a space that meets all your wants and needs.

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