Noozhawk: What’s Next for ADUs?

Noozhawk: What’s Next for ADUs?
April 15, 2018 Joanna Rivas

This week, the Santa Barbara City Council is expected to deliberate and vote on a local Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance. From the outside, this might appear to be just an arcane matter of land use policy, but in reality, it’s an important and difficult decision between concerns for preservation versus adaptation with long-range implications. The State of California has responded to the current housing crisis with a range of new laws that supersede the authority of local governments. Ben Metcalf, director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development, was quoted in The New York Times: “We can’t just plan for growth, we have to actually build.” With half or more of the developed land in our state built out in a low-density, suburban sprawl, it’s inevitable that changes to these areas will be required at some point in the future if we are to accommodate just a portion of the growing demand for housing within our state. One approach has been to encourage more large-scale developer housing projects. Senate Bill SB 827 proposed by state Sen. Scott Wiener of San Francisco that is under consideration would significantly limit the authority of local governments to restrict development along transit corridors. This would be the large sledgehammer approach to development within limited areas and is feared by local leaders up and down the coast for its impacts on their communities.

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