Jason Laub, Planning Commission

Concord continues to support Accessory Dwelling Units

Jason Laub, Planning CommissionCONCORD, CA (Oct. 14, 2021) — Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are a popular option in California, and the city of Concord is working to ease the approval process.

In 2016, the state passed legislation that empowered homeowners to create secondary living spaces on their property by easing regulatory hurdles. Essentially, the review and approval of ADUs by local jurisdictions, including Concord, became a ministerial process instead of discretionary. In other words, as long as you submit an application within the guidelines provided, the approval process is relatively quick.

The Concord Planning Commission and City Council supported the creation of additional housing by adopting local ordinances that not only to comply with state law, but further relieve the barriers by reducing city fees for ADUs.

• Also referred to as granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages or secondary units, ADUs can:

• Create housing to help address the housing supply crisis and, in turn, relieve the high cost of housing.

• Provide an affordable type of living space to construct as they don’t require the cost of land or significant new infrastructure.

• Provide income for existing homeowners going into retirement on a fixed income or new homeowners needing to offset high home prices and mortgage payments.

• Allow extended families to live near each other while maintaining privacy.

The city of Concord has been working with a consultant to develop preapproved plans for homeowners to utilize in building an ADU. The Design Review Board was scheduled to review a preliminary set of plans at its Oct. 14 meeting. The plans will likely be available for public use by the first quarter of 2022.

This is a great benefit to residents wanting to build an ADU as it takes the long and costly design phase out of the process. I hope a lot of residents take advantage of this program once the plans are available.

For more information about ADUs, visit hcd.ca.gov/policy-research/AccessoryDwellingUnits.shtml or cityofconcord.org/documentcenter/view/4637.

Jason Laub is Chief Operating Officer at RAD Urban and is a City of Concord Planning Commissioner. Email questions or comments to jlaub.concordplanning@gmail.com