When Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state legislatures backed more than 50 housing bills in 2023 intended to expedite the state’s housing supply, ADUs became a significant part of the menu of options.

“It’s simple math — California needs to build more housing and ensure the housing we have is affordable,” Newsom said in a statement at the time.

Now, more local efforts are bubbling up, as a new Marin nonprofit organization is promoting accessible dwelling units as a solution to the state housing shortage.

ADU Marin is working with officials in San Anselmo, Mill Valley, Fairfax, Larkspur, Sausalito, Novato, San Rafael, Corte Madera, Ross and the county to provide information on developing the apartments, also known as granny flats or in-law units, according to the Main Independent journal.

The organization launched a website, ADUMarin.org, on April 1. A series of recorded webinars featuring local building and planning officials has been uploaded to the site.

“We think ADUs are a really good solution for Marin,” said Scott Johnson, the nonprofit’s director. “It’s not the only solution, but we think it is a very powerful one.”

An ADU is an independent apartment on a lot with a primary residence or where one is proposed. ADUs are generally smaller than primary residences and can function as rental housing or housing for family members.

The more time that a developer spends getting the permit for a project, the more expensive the eventual project costs, said Muhammad Alameldin, a policy associate with the Terner Center. Those costs eventually are passed onto the homeowner or renter.


Want to know what’s happening around town? Click here to subscribe to the Enjoy Mill Valley Blog by Email!