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Developing ADUs will become quicker and easier with the implementation of a new online tool.
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Communities across the U.S. are turning to accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as a solution to boost affordable housing availability, and a new tool being introduced in California aims to simplify the process for local governments, residents, and developers. According to Route Fifty, a state law enacted last year mandates that by Jan. 1, 2025, local jurisdictions must establish a program to preapprove ADU projects. Additionally, the law requires agencies to post preapproved plans online and decide on detached ADU applications within 30 days.

In conjunction with this law, housing policy and community engagement company Community Planning Collaborative is launching an online platform for government officials, architects, and residents to manage authorized housing plans and easily find ADU projects they want to pursue. Following its roll out across California, the platform will also become available in other states where ADUs are gaining popularity, including Washington, Colorado, and Arizona.

It’s like an Etsy for ADU designs, said David Driskell, CPC principal. Plus, the online gallery offers jurisdictions a cost effective way to comply with AB 1332 and meet housing goals, as most housing agencies are under resourced and understaffed, limiting their ability to stand up their own housing services.

Residents interested in building an ADU on their property can then view the approved units by features like location, size, square footage, bedrooms or bathrooms, among other filters. Unit profiles include information like expected construction cost, floor plans and unit descriptions. Once residents choose an ADU plan, the site provides the developer’s contact information so that the parties can proceed.


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