This article was originally published in the Sierra Sun by Hannah Jones on February 28, 2020.
The Truckee Town Council has adopted a three-year pilot program aimed at encouraging the construction of Accessory Dwelling units, or ADUs, across town and increasing the inventory of long term rentals.
Since 2014 the town has processed 44 ADU permits. Despite state legislation that was passed last year encouraging ADU construction, the region is not seeing an increase in ADU construction compared to other areas, according to a staff report.
“Even with the new state laws,” said Seana Doherty, Truckee’s housing program manager. “That is not enough to increase the number of ADUs.”
This pilot program aims to construct 40 new ADUs in the next three years. Of those units, 20 are expected to be market rate and 20 will be deed restricted to residents that make less than 120% of the area median income.
“We know ADUs are not the silver bullet, they’re not going to solve all of our housing issues,” said Doherty. However, she added that they create housing within existing neighborhoods and allow homeowners to build units themselves to combat the shortage.
The program has three components: marketing for the program, creating an “ADU Academy” to educate homeowners on how to build ADUs, and provide incentives for homeowners that deed restrict their units.
For construction of deed restricted units, Doherty said “we would offer you full wrap-around project management services for the lifetime of your project.”
This would include a project manger to visit the site and help with the planning process and assistance in finding a contractor for the permitting process. Additionally the homeowner would have the opportunity to work with Tahoe Landing, an online platform that connects second homeowners with the local workforce, to find qualified tenants for their ADU.
In order to simplify the building process, the town is planning to create an ADU website where homeowners can easily access information on ADU construction. It will include how-to videos and checklists to guide homeowners through the process of designing, constructing, permitting and financing an ADU.
The “ADU academy” will allow homeowners to connect with local planners, surveyors, designers and builders who are able to work on ADU projects. It may include four to six sessions on how to build efficient, cost effective ADUs in Truckee.
“I love this program,” said Vice Mayor Anna Klovstad. She said that the program will create the opportunity to unlock affordable and achievable housing, engage the community in being part of the solution, and create work for local designers and contractors.
“I think it’s a win-win-win,” she said.
See the article on SierraSun.Com.