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Accessory Dwelling Units by Jock Sewall

April 17th, 2017 · No Comments · Accessory Dwelling Units, California Real Estate, Real Estate News, Santa Barbara Real Estate

Jock Sewall is a local Santa Barbara Architect. Here’s his take on Accessory Dwelling Units:

“Aging in Place,” that is, not moving to a separate rest home or it’s equivalent, staying in the family and community mix is the most desirable senior residential outcome by far according to every kind of senior. This kind of family arrangement (community with privacy) is now possible with the new Accessory Dwelling Unit provision in California.

The biggest benefit to aging in place is that “oldsters” will maintain their dignity, independence, and inclusion in the family support system as long as humanly possible. If a parent needs senior care and cannot afford it, with an Accessory Dwelling Unit, they have an opportunity to remain in the family setting where care is close without feeling underfoot.

We all want to live the fuller life that aging in place allows. When alone people get lost, give up, then sink into desperate isolation. Depression can be a silent killer for seniors in our society. An active defense against this kind of loneliness is living close to family, seeing friends around town,  and having convenient access to services, markets, church, and nature. Simple but necessary. A family compound approach with an accessory dwelling unit provides a tool for many to extend their resources and let those close to them that have gotten on in years to live out their days with greater peace of mind in a familiar setting , and more dignity.

Jock Sewall and Associates Accessory Dwelling Units

California Senate Bill 1069      City of Santa Barbara Accessory Dwelling Units   Article 2 Adoption of Regulations

Hysteria in Montecito regarding Accessory Dwelling Units?

In the March 23-30, 2017 issue of the Montecito Journal Kelley Mahann Herrick wrote a comprehensive take on Accessory Dwelling Units in Montecito.  In her column there are some interesting take aways. She quotes Thiep Cung, a local architect who also sits on the Montecito Architectural Board of Architectural Review (MBAR) who says that, “the ADU legislation has negative implications on many levels and is even more of a concern than lack of water, or the widening of 101.” Curiously his firm is in the process of designing three ADUs for three different properties in Montecito. Cung is also quoted as saying, “On one hand it’s very helpful for homeowners because it streamlines the process. On the other hand, the new legislation allows basically anyone to build an ADU on their property, which has major negative implications for traffic and density issues.”

There are many different opinions on this new legislation and time will tell how this all plays out.  Historically in Montecito detached Second Units were only permissible on five acres. Now, ADUs are permissible regardless of the lot size. One of the suggestions Cung makes in this article is to, “let your neighbors know what’s going on, and be transparent about what you’re building in your backyard,” which is good advice for any project you’re considering. And, for those considering renting out their ADU, it’s required that it must be rented out for a minimum of 31 days.

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