Seattle Desires To Streamline The ADU Process

Seattle Desires To Streamline The ADU Process

Removing The Barriers For Attached Or Detached ADUs

Written By Janet Thome

In July, the Seattle City Council passed Council Bill 119544 for ADUs, taking away the barriers and making it easier for more property owners to build backyard cottages (detached accessory dwelling units or DADUs) and basement units (attached accessory dwelling units or AADUs) and therefore provide more housing options for people living in Seattle.

What Is An ADU?

Backyard Cottage ADU

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a separate living space within a house or on the same property as an existing house. These units aren’t legal unless they have been established through a permit process. A legally permitted unit in the home is called an attached accessory dwelling unit (AADU). A legally permitted unit on the property (but not within the home) is called a detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) or backyard cottage. Tiny houses, with foundations, are considered DADUs.

The Legislation:

  • Reduces the minimum lot size required to build a DADU on a single-family lot from 4,000 square feet to 3,200 square feet;
  • Increase the maximum size of DADUs from 800 square feet to 1,000 square feet, excluding any parking or storage areas;
  • Removes the owner-occupancy requirement for ADUs;
  • Removes the off-street parking requirement for ADUs;
  • Allows two ADUs on one lot (either one attached and one detached, or two attached) if the second ADU meets a green building standard or will be affordable to households at or below 80% of area median income;
  • Increases the maximum household size permitted on a single-family lot from 8 to 12 unrelated people only if the lot includes two ADUs;
  • Increases DADU height limits by 1-3 feet, with flexibility for green building strategies;
  • Allows design flexibility to preserve existing trees and to convert existing accessory structures to a DADU;
  • Require annual reporting on ADU production and requires that the Office of Planning and Community Development and the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections conduct a survey of ADU owners and occupants within 3 years.
  • Introduces a Floor Area Limit (FAR) for all new development in single-family zones with some exemptions (this regulation has a delayed effective date until March 1, 2020);

Accessory Dwelling Unit Webpage

Effective March 1st, 2020

The regulations for accessory dwelling units were updated by Ordinance 125854 and the majority of the requirements are effective as of August 8, 2019. The updated requirements to floor area limits in single-family zones SF5000, SF7200, and SF9600 will be effective on March 1, 2020.

Executive Order To Encourage ADUs.

Mayor Jenny Durkan’s July 2019 Executive Order calls for other actions to encourage accessible and afford-able ADUs. In addition to pre-approved DADU plans, they  are developing an affordable ADU financing option, creating new online tools and resources, and monitoring ADU development annually.

To simplify and streamline permitting, the City is developing pre-approved DADU construction plans that offer a faster, easier, and more predictable design and permitting process.

Public Comments Welcome: Survey Open Until October 19th, 2019

Here’s how it works:1.The  public survey informs design principles and criteria we will use to select plans. 2. They  invite designers and builders to submit DADU designs.3. Permitting staff pre-approve 6-10 plans chosen based on selection criteria.4. Plans become available for homeowners, who can connect with the designer to create a site plan. Homeowners choosing a pre-approved DADU plan get a shorter permit review process and reduced permit fee.

Plans selected for pre-approval will be featured in an online gallery on the City’s ADU website.Why encourage ADUs? ADUs offer Seattle residents several opportunities: »More places to rent in neighborhoods where housing is often unaffordable»For owners, a path to generate income and wealth»Homes meeting the needs of families with children, aging in place, multi generational households, and people with disabilities.

 

The process to create an ADU can sometimes feel complex or intimidating. To simplify and streamline permitting, the City of Seattle is developing pre-approved construction plans for detached accessory dwelling units (DADUs), often called backyard cottages. Using a pre-approved DADU plan will provide a faster, easier, and more predictable design and permitting process.

This fall, we will ask the design community to submit DADU designs that the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) will review and pre-approve. But first, we want to hear your ideas for design principles we should encourage through this process.

This survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. Your responses will inform how we evaluate the design submissions. Thank you for taking this time to support this process. To learn more, read our summary.

Take The Survey

ADU Fair: Resources For Creating Accessory Dwelling Units: October 19th, 2019

Want to learn more? On October 19, OPCD and other departments will be attending ADU Fair: Resources for creating accessory dwelling units, a free event at Southside Commons from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Come by to learn about ADUs, talk with staff, or even take the survey. You can also email  at DADUplans@seattle.gov, read our summary, and visit the SDCI website on ADUs.

Photo Credit: Clayton Homes

 

United Dwelling-Turn Your Garage Into An ADU

United Dwelling-Turn Your Garage Into An ADU

At No Up Front Cost To You In Los Angeles County

Written By Janet Thome

United Dwelling- Housing Innovation Challenge Winner- partners with homeowners to transform their  garage into an affordable, high-quality home at no cost to you. You’ll receive additional income from monthly rent and an overall increase in your property value. With 236,000 detached two-car garages in LA County, the vision is to convert 3,000 garages to ADUs by 2022.

Winner Of The Los Angeles County Housing Challenge

From among 53 proposals evaluated by a panel of experts, United Dwelling was awarded $1,000,000 for our innovative idea to address the affordable housing crisis.

United Dwelling will use 100% of the award money to offer housing for tenants with lower paying service-oriented careers in fields like public education, healthcare, and social work. They will  achieve this by increasing payments to homeowners up to $500 per month if they accept a tenant with a housing voucher in select neighborhoods.

The New Face A Homelessness

The new face of homelessness are fully employed families and individuals that cannot afford to put a roof over their head. United Dwelling is looking to help the working poor.

How United Dwelling Works

  • Homeowners sign an agreement to lease their garage and receive a portion of the rent United
  • United Dwelling obtains all permits
  • Manages the remodeling process
  • They pay for the conversion
  • They find a vetted tenant
  • Handle all property management

Benefits

  • No upfront cost, No Hassle
  • Licensed contractor, Modative Build Inc.
  • Reliable source of income
  • Increase your property value from $140,000 to $ 200,000
  • Strengthen your community and be a part of the solution

What Is An ADU?

New California state laws allow homeowners to convert their garage or build a new rental home known as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). By transforming your backyard into additional housing, you’re helping making a profound and positive change to your community with the benefits of increasing your property value and building long term equity through rental income.

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production October 9th, 2019

The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

  • AB 68 by Assembly member Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply
  • AB 881 by Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years.

From the office of Governor Gavin Newsom

United Dwelling FAQ

Founder And CEO

Steven Dietz, previously co-founded Upfront Ventures and spent 30 years as a leading VC investor in Southern California financing and counseling some of the best entrepreneurial talent in the country. Mr. Dietz and his team team funded over 220 start-ups that now employ more than 530,000 people in the US, including 30,000 in LA County alone.  Of those 220 companies multiple have become household names including Costco, Starbucks, Petsmart, Ulta Beauty, Bird, Mitu and Office Depot. Many of these companies rank among the most socially conscious and best places to work in the US.

Call For A Free Consultation 310 853 5936

United Dwelling Website

Symbium Build: Plan Your ADU in Seconds

Symbium Build: Plan Your ADU in Seconds

ADU San Francisco Symbium Build Meetup October 9th, 2019

Written By Janet Thome

Symbium Build- a  Computational Law company, has created a portal that makes it easy for anyone to quickly assess if it is feasible to develop an ADU on any parcel and displays the applicable development standards. The service is available in California.

The Symbium Build portal is a service for homeowners, designers, architects, developers,  planners and city staff  that will streamline the ADU process so that relevant laws and regulations are presented in an easy to understand visual format.

Symbium Build Portal

What are ADUs?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.

Meetup Details

If you love tiny homes and are interested in the accessory dwelling unit ( ADU) movement, join Symbium Build at their inaugural Meetup. Network with tiny home and ADU enthusiasts, homeowners, design professionals. Non alcoholic drinks and snacks will be served.

Address And Time Of Meetup: 5pm to 7pm: October 9th, 2013

149 New Montgomery St.
San Francisco, Ca,

Check in with the lobby attendant. Go to the 4th floor. Check in closes at 6pm.

Join The ADU Enthusiasts Group

 Symbium Build Allows

  • Anyone to determine whether a ADU is allowed on a particular property
  • Understand the development standards that apply
  • Understand the ensuing processes to build an ADU
  •  Streamline process for planning an ADU in seconds

Symbium Build Works In Cooperation With Municipalities

San Francisco improves permitting process with online portal to help combat housing crisis,  Symbium’s BUILD portal enables city planners, design professionals, developers, and homeowners in San Francisco to understand whether an accessory dwelling unit (“ADU”) (also known as second units and in-law units) is allowed on a particular parcel, what development standards apply, and the ensuing processes.

Symbium’s BUILD portal also supports commercial business zoning so anyone can instantly visualize where in a jurisdiction a specific business type is allowed.

Symbium In Collaboration With The City Of San Fransisco

California State ADU Legislation

State legislation that took effect January 1, 2017 gave California cities more flexibility and latitude for allowing homeowners to build ADUs. Three separate bills were introduced and signed by Governor Brown; SB 1069 Opens a New Window. (Wieckowski), AB 2299 Opens a New Window. (Bloom), and AB 2406 Opens a New Window. (Thurmond). Each of these land use bills make it easier than ever for homeowners to take advantage of this attractive opportunity.

Opportunity To Bring An ADU Into Compliance

As of January 1, 2019, homeowners who created accessory dwelling units (ADUs) without the required building permits may have the opportunity to bring their ADUs into compliance. For ADUs that were constructed without building permits, local building officials now have the option to inspect an ADU and apply the building standards that were in effect at the time the unit was constructed. This bill: SB 1226 (Bates), adds Section 17958.12 to the California Health and Safety Code Opens a New Window. , and with application of appropriate building codes, may allow issuance of a building permit for the residential unit.

Governor Gavin Newsom Signs 18 Bills to Boost Housing Production October 9th, 2019

The construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can also help cities meet their housing goals and increase the state’s affordable housing supply. The Governor signed the following bills to eliminate barriers to building ADUs:

  • AB 68 by Assembly member Philip Ting (D-San Francisco) makes major changes to facilitate the development of more ADUs and address barriers to building. The bill reduces barriers to ADU approval and construction, which will increase production of these low-cost, energy-efficient units and add to California’s affordable housing supply
  • AB 881 by Assembly member Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) removes impediments to ADU construction by restricting local jurisdictions’ permitting criteria, clarifying that ADUs must receive streamlined approval if constructed in existing garages, and eliminating local agencies’ ability to require owner-occupancy for five years

From the office of Governor Gavin News

How Does An ADU Fit With My Home?

ADUs can be behind, attached to, inside of, above, or below an existing home.

Find a California Architect

Related: Rent The Backyard

Rent the Backyard will put an ADU in your backyard at no up front cost to you. More details.

ADU Financing: Craft3

ADU Financing: Craft3

Finance Your Attached Or Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit ( ADU )

Written By Janet Thome

Craft3- a regional nonprofit CDFI that makes loans to strengthen the economic, ecological and family resilience in Oregon and Washington. They lend to established nonprofits and growing and start-up businesses – including those that don’t qualify for traditional loans.

Craft3 Helps Families Of All Income Levels

Craft3  helps  families of all income levels finance energy upgrades, build accessory dwelling units, and replace failing septic systems and aging manufactured homes. From regional offices in Port Angeles, Seattle, Spokane and Walla Walla, Wash., and Astoria, Bend, Klamath Falls and Portland, Ore., Craft3 has invested more than $534 million in Northwest communities.

ADU Loan Features

  • Borrow up to $150,000 for design, permitting and construction
  • Fixed interest rates
  • Reduced rates available for income-qualified applicants
  • Convenient repayment directly from your bank account

Eligibility

  • Residential properties in Portland, Oregon
  • Owner-occupied, single family residence And in the coming months, we hope to expand our ADU Loan beyond Portland. So if you’re living elsewhere in Oregon or in Washington state – we’d still love to grab your info. We’ll keep you in the loop about our activities and use your interest to inform where and when we expand next. Use the same ‘I Want Financing’ button.

How It Works

  1. Develop a project with your builder
  2. Discuss your project with Craft3; get started using the ‘I Want Financing‘ button above
  3. Complete a loan application
  4. Submit your documents
  5. Receive a decision and finalize the design of your project
  6. Sign your loan documents
  7. Build your ADU
  8. Repay through your bank account

ADU Brochure 

More Details About Craft3 

Dweller, An ADU Builder And Craft3 Have A Business Relationship Located in S.E. Portland

Dweller builds and installs accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in a low cost, efficient manner to allow as many homeowners as possible to benefit from this source of extra income and desperately needed housing

Dweller specializes in producing ADUs in an affordable, efficient manner to allow as many homeowners as possible to benefit from this source of extra income and housing. Our model is unique because we build all of our ADUs offsite which saves substantial time and money compared to ADUs built onsite. And instead of requiring the homeowner to manage a lengthy design, permitting and construction process, Dweller handles the entire process at a fixed, affordable cost to the homeowner.

 Dweller ADU is a self-contained living space with the look and feel of a house brought down to small scale. Each Dweller ADU is approximately 450 sq ft. and has a living space, a kitchen with full size appliances, a bathroom and a bedroom. High quality materials with full sized windows and doors are used during the construction of each unit. For the exterior, landscaping to provide privacy between the primary unit and the Dweller ADU is employed.

Two Choices With Dweller

A homeowner can buy directly  from Dweller or enter into a ground lease with Dweller.

Open House Dweller: October 2nd And October 5th

Dweller is hosting two open houses the first week of October: 10/2 from 5:30-7:30pm in SE Portland and 10/5 from 1-3pm in SW Portland. Sign up at dweller.com/contact to receive invite with address.

More Details About Dweller 

Related: Rent The Backyard