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Marin County Pushes Back on State’s ADU Expansion Directive: A Question of Balance

In a bold move, the Marin County Planning Commission has recommended that county supervisors resist the state’s directive to double the number of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) permitted on single-family lots. This comes as a response to the state Department of Housing and Community Development’s enforcement unit’s communication that the county has been underrepresenting the minimum allowable ADUs under state law.

Presently, Marin County permits only one ADU and one junior accessory dwelling unit (JADU) on single-family residential lots. The new state interpretation, however, suggests that homeowners could construct up to two ADUs and JADUs on their properties.

Critics of the state’s directive argue that it misinterprets the term “any” to mean “all.” Commissioner Rebecca Lind commented, “Under no definition does any ever mean all. I think it is administrative overreach.”

The potential implications of the state’s interpretation are significant. Coupled with Senate Bill 9, it could theoretically allow up to eight residences on a single-family lot. Despite this, Marin County Planning Manager Jeremy Tejirian reassured that the county currently isn’t receiving applications of this nature.

Wooden floors, studio Accessory Dwelling Unit in San Fernando Valley, CA

Still, this situation poses questions and concerns about ADU regulations, particularly in relation to fire safety. In December 2020, the commission had recommended prohibiting ADUs in high-risk fire zones, but the Board of Supervisors deemed the recommendation too restrictive.

While this new development unfolds, it is crucial to understand the potential your property holds for ADU construction. The ADU Guide’s free ADU property check can provide you with vital information and guidance in this regard.

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The ADU landscape is evolving, and it is vital for homeowners to keep abreast of the changes that directly impact them.

Article credit: “Marin planning commissioners recommend county fight state ADU requirement” by Marin IJ

Remember to check the state and county regulations on ADUs for up-to-date information.

Call To Action (CTA): Not sure how these changes affect your property? Get a free ADU property check with The ADU Guide today!



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