Incorporating Accessory Dwelling Units into Rebuilding
When deciding to rebuild his family’s Mark West Springs home after the Sonoma County Fires, Casey Meints knew that it would take much less time to build an accessory dwelling unit than to rebuild the main residence.
They chose to add an accessory dwelling unit to their property in their new building plans. Their accessory dwelling unit was completed in July 2018, and they will be submitting their plans for the primary residence later this month. The family will live in this new unit while rebuilding the rest of the property, allowing them to move back onto their land more quickly.
In addition to getting them back on their property sooner, the accessory dwelling unit gives the family options moving forward. Once they complete the rebuild and move into their main house, the couple’s recent college graduate son will move into the accessory dwelling unit. The family may choose to use the unit as a rental for supplemental income down the line.
When Kevin Baughman purchased his home about 7 years ago in Santa Rosa’s Riebli-Wallace neighborhood, the property had a detached recreation room. Kevin was in conversation with staff at Permit Sonoma about how to convert this structure into an accessory dwelling unit. However, before he could convert it, the devastating 2017 Sonoma County fires burned down this structure along with the main house.
Just 2 days after the fire, Kevin had already lined up a contractor to rebuild their home. They included an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in the new building plans, submitting their permit application in April 2018.
Kevin’s family originally planned to build the ADU first and live in this smaller unit while rebuilding the main house. However, with approval of plans for both the ADU and main house approved, they will now be building the two structures simultaneously.
Their initial plan for the accessory dwelling unit is to use it as over flow sleeping space for visiting friends. In the longer term, they anticipate that this separate unit might be used for a child that returns home after school or for an aging parent. The ADU provides them flexibility in knowing that they will have room for friends and family members in need of a place to stay.