Accessory Dwelling Units


 3/8/2023 —  Nearly 50 people from Midtown and surrounding neighborhoods came out to learn about Accessory Dwelling Units from the city and from neighbors who’ve built ADUs at an informational meeting hosted by NBNA and the Midtown Neighborhood Association

Greta Soos, with the City of Sacramento’s planning department, offered context for why ADUs are growing in popularity and what the city is doing to help make them more affordable.  For example, Sacramento offers free permit-ready ADU plans and has a new ADU Resource Center

Like most California cities, Sacramento faces a housing shortage that drives up the purchase price and rental rates of nearly all homes and apartments, especially in walkable areas that are close to jobs, shopping, parks and schools. While ADUs, also  called granny flats, were once a  common way for property owners to create extra housing for, say, relatives or neighbors, ADUs were effectively banned through zoning regulations for much of the 20th Century. Recently, Sacramento has taken a new new look at using ADUs as one strategy, among many, to spur housing in places where existing infrastructure already exists.

Case studies from neighbors who themselves have built ADUs (in Oak Park, Poverty Ridge and East Sacramento ) offered a nuts-and-bolts glimpse into what it’s like to plan, pay for and build an ADU. Some people use their ADUs as a living space; others as rental properties. A surprise case study was presented by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, who lives in the Elmhurst Neighborhood and was inspired to build an ADU as a place for his mother to live. 

Thanks to the Midtown Neighborhood Association for conceiving of the meeting idea, and to the amazing Brazilian Center for Cultural Exchange for being a welcoming host, and sharing delicious Brazilian cuisine for everyone to enjoy.


Assemblymember Kevin McCarty talks about why ADUs are important for climate change and housing affordability; he also shared his experience building an ADU behind his house in the Elmhurst neighborhood
Neighbors watched a presentation on ADUs by City Planner Greta Soos, who said that ADUs (also known as 'granny flats') were once a common housing type; zoning changes in the mid-20th Century made ADUs nearly impossible to build. Sacramento, like cities across the country, is revisting zoning regulations so they encourage a range of housing types at different affordability levels.
NBNA's Jeff Slodowitz discusses his experience building an ADU.
Danny Yost of the Midtown Neighborhood Association, right, asks questions of Greta Soos, a city planner with Sacramento