ADU Advisory Group

UWMC is focusing on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) as a way to expand affordable housing within Monterey County.

What are ADUs?

ADUs are second units that are built on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs can be built as an attachment to an existing home or garage, a conversion of a garage or existing structure, a detached unit, or can exist entirely within the primary home. ADUs can be a source of additional income for homeowners as well as provide an affordable and convenient place to live for residents.

Santa Cruz County Granny Unit

The state of California recognizes ADUs as one of the strategies needed to tackle the housing crisis. However, even with state legislation removing policy barriers to ADU development, there are still many challenges homeowners face in the planning, permitting, and building stages of an ADU.

In order to address these remaining barriers, UWMC formed an ADU Advisory Group to develop cross functional coordination, synergy and collaborative action in support of the development of new ADUs in Monterey County. Members of the Group include UWMC, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay, County of Monterey, City of Salinas, Community Housing Improvements Systems and Planning Association Inc (CHISPA) , Monterey County Housing Authority Development Corporation (HDC), Rehabilitation Restoration Respite (R3), City of Seaside, and community volunteers.

The ADU Advisory Group’s goal is to spark aligned actions to increase the  number of ADUs in the County.

ADU Advisory Group Plan

The Advisory Group’s roles are to:

  1. Analyze problems and understand systems affecting construction of ADUs in the county, including inequities, baseline, trends and changes overtime
  2. Identify effective solutions (strategies) and support their implementation – either directly or by advocating for program, practice or policy changes
  3. Support mutual accountability for results by monitoring implementation and addressing new challenges as they arise.

If you or your organization is interested in reducing policy barriers to ADU development, advocating for supportive ADU policies, participating in the ADU Advisory Workgroup and/or increasing ADU development in Monterey County, please contact Lauren Link, Community Impact Associate at United Way Monterey County and Staff Liaison for the ADU Advisory Workgroup at (831) 372-8026 x115 or by email.


ADU Literature Review: Highlights the ADU policies within Monterey County and includes policy recommendations and case studies.

City and County Policy:
State Law Updates

Effective January 1, 2019:

  • Senate Bill 1226: Applies to unpermitted/illegal ADUs (California Legislative Information, 2018)
  • Assembly Bill 494: Further reduces parking requirements (California Legislative Information, 2017)

Effective January 1, 2017:

  • Senate Bill 1069: Reduces parking requirements, utility fee reductions, and streamlines the approval process. (California Legislative Information, 2016)
  • Assembly Bill 2299: Streamlines approval process for local governments (California Legislative Information, 2016)
  • Assembly Bill 2406: Applies to junior accessory dwelling units (JADU) ordinances (California Legislative Information, 2016)(California Department of Housing and Community Development, n.d.)
Additional Resources:

  1. California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) Accessory Dwelling Units
  2. LA MÁS
  3. Santa Cruz City and County (Santa Cruz Sentinel. Nicholas Ibarra. Santa Cruz County Offers Amnesty to Unpermitted Homes.)
  4. Santa Cruz County ADUs
  5. Housing Trust Silicon Valley: Small Homes BIG IMPACT Pilot program that offers free educational workshops and financial assistance to homeowners seeking to build an ADU.
  6. Lessons Learned from Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver. Report discusses the remaining barriers facing homeowners even when removing policy barriers. Interesting ideas to spur the market for ADUs.