Fee Holiday for Accessory Dwelling Units!

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News Date: 
March 20, 2019
Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) built in Santa Cruz

On Tuesday, March 19, the Salinas City Council voted unanimously to adopt an ordinance to exempt Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) from development impact fees for a five-year period. An ADU, also known as an in-law unit, is a secondary dwelling unit located on the same property as a single-family home. There are multiple ways to add an ADU to an existing home, including as a separate structure in a backyard, a conversion of a garage, or even as part of the original home that has its own entrance and cooking and bathroom facilities. Promotion of ADU development is one of the ways the city and the state are attempting to address the rising cost of housing and slow production of new units. An ADU is also a way for existing residents to generate a new source of income, helping them stay in place.

Pre-construction costs can discourage potential ADU builders before the project ever breaks ground. This action by City Council could save applicants over $8,000 dollars and remove a potential barrier to new housing. Previously, the City charged per unit, so a 500 square-foot ADU would have paid the same amount as a new 3,000 square-foot home. This amendment to Chapter 9 of the Salinas Municipal Code (building) supports recommendations in the Housing Element, the Farmworker Housing Study and Action Plan, and draft policies for the Alisal Vibrancy Plan.