Sonoma County relaxes restrictions on in-law units to put dent in housing shortage

8 November 2021

Sonoma County has loosened restrictions on in-law units to encourage construction of the “naturally affordable” small-scale homes in hopes of putting a dent in the region’s intensifying housing shortage.

The Board of Supervisors in September approved updates to the county’s permitting rules for accessory dwelling units, also known as ADUs or granny units — backyard cottages homeowners can build on their property, often for family or friends, or to put up for rent.

Some of the changes include removing minimum parcel size limits, easing parking space requirements, speeding up permit application times and allowing the units on multifamily properties.

“We’re hopeful this becomes one tool in our toolbox to tackle our housing crisis,” said Bradley Dunn, policy manager with Permit Sonoma.

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