Expanding Access to The ADU Center: From Napa and Sonoma to Marin County

A couple hugs in front of their ADU home. Text reads: The ADU Center Expands to Marin County

When we launched the Napa Sonoma ADU Center in 2020, it was a significant undertaking — the recent wildfires had severely impacted an already tight housing market, and we believed that Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) had the potential to become a bigger part of the solution.

Now, we are excited to share Napa Sonoma ADU Center’s rebranding and expansion into other North Bay counties, starting with Marin County. The newly renamed ADU Center’s next phase is fueled by a significant investment from the County of Marin, which recognizes how the ADU Center’s efforts can help local communities achieve their housing goals.

“Expanding our services to Marin County marks a milestone in our work,” shares Scott Johnson, Director of the ADU Center. “We’re here to support Marin residents every step of the way, from dreaming about an ADU to turning those dreams into reality.”

This expansion wouldn’t be possible without early seed funding from Napa Valley Community Foundation and our colleagues at Community Foundation Sonoma County. We are also deeply gratified to see local jurisdictions, like the County of Napa, and now the County of Marin, stepping up to invest in the ADU Center’s expansion, signaling a strong belief in the Center’s mission and approach.

Starting this spring, Marin County residents will have access to comprehensive support and resources to explore, design, and have an achievable plan for ADUs on their property, including:

  1. One on One Feasibility Consultations for Homeowners: The ADU Center will be rolling out one-on-one feasibility consultations to homeowners in Marin, where ADU Center staff will provide a free one-hour consultation with homeowners who are hoping to build an ADU. (Estimated launch: Spring 2024)
  2. Technical Assistance for Homeowners: ADU Center staff will be available to answer questions about ADU development and best practices to homeowners via email and telephone. Questions can be sent directly to info@adumarin.org or via the contact form on the website. (Estimated launch: Spring 2024)
  3. Vetted Vendors: The ADU Center makes finding trusted ADU construction professionals easy with a registry that includes Finance, General Contractors, Prefab Builders, Architects, and Permit Assistance vendors. (Estimated launch: Spring 2024)
  4. Innovative Loan Options: The ADU Center collaborated with Redwood Credit Union to develop a loan product that facilitates easier financing for homeowners looking to build an ADU. (Available now)
  5. Off the Shelf and Pre-Approved ADU Plans: The ADU Center is developing a program to offer homeowners of Marin a suite of ‘off the shelf’ plans for reduced cost as well as plans that have been pre-approved by their jurisdiction (Estimated launch: Summer 2024).

A recent survey indicates that 76% of report recipients to-date are advancing with their ADU builds, contributing to a total of 375 ADUs in process. Additionally, 15% have completed their ADUs, amounting to 74 units built since the program’s inception.

What Homeowners Have Said About the Napa Sonoma ADU Center

Your support has been invaluable. You’ve provided information on the process, resources when we’ve reached out, your expert opinion and contacts when we’ve asked for them. We can’t thank you enough.” ~ Homeowner in Napa County.

“You validated my understanding of the current ADU rules and helped me feel more secure in going forward, knowing that there is someone I can turn to if needed. I think your program is amazing.” ~ Homeowner in Napa.

“The resources you provide are AWESOME and I think you’re doing great work.” ~ Homeowner in Santa Rosa.

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