Marin is ready to start building JR units!

August 17, 2016

A recent decision by the Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) board to eliminate water connection fees for JR units means that homeowners in San Rafael, Tiburon, Fairfax and Belvedere now have the green light to start legally building economical, private rental apartments made from underutilized bedrooms in their homes!  Larkspur’s Planning Commission has just passed a proposed JR unit ordinance that is now moving to the City Council for a final vote, while Corte Madera and unincorporated County say they are also getting close to introducing the ordinance.  However, development of room rental spaces can be achieved in the unincorporated areas of Marin right now by navigating a combination of permitting codes and you can actually do it in up to three bedrooms of a home!

Discussions with several of the local sewer agencies have brought about code changes eliminating fees for JR units, a change that can apparently be done through a simple resolution by the board.  So we’re there!  The time has finally come when homeowners, young and old, in the majority of the county can begin re-imagining the ways they are living in their homes and using a streamlined and affordable process to create JR units.

Junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) were originally established in local permitting code in 2015 in Novato.  Buy-in from the water and sewer agencies reduced the fees by over 95%, making the development of these living spaces truly affordable.  And construction of the very first JR unit in the state is underway!  We have been meeting with many more property owners who are considering being the second to move forward with JR unit development.

Lilypad is facilitating the process by helping homeowners look at the feasibility and financing of these units.  We also take clients through the planning, permitting and construction process.  And we help people confidently navigate the rental of these units if they are not using them to house loved ones or caregivers.  This is in addition to our mission to advocate for the elimination of burdensome requirements and fee reductions that in the past have stood in the way of development of ADUs of all types.

If you are a homeowner who wishes to create a JR unit in your home, and your city or town is not listed above, we ask that you call the Planning Director and City Councilmembers and ask them to pass a JR unit ordinance.  The ordinance provides homeowners access to low-cost, low-impact and high-benefit type of housing that make both owning and renting a home in the community more affordable.  At Lilypad we believe your home is your greatest, most personal asset.  That asset should be flexible enough to meet your changing needs during the time you own your home!

Please give us a call if you have any questions about ADU development or just to share a story about the living spaces you already have in your home.