To ADU Or Not To ADU?

There is a great need for housing in Napa and throughout California these days.  One way policy makers are hoping to help with the housing crunch is through ADU’s.

ADU’s or Accessory Dwelling Units are defined as: having a second small dwelling right on the same grounds (or attached to) your regular single-family house, such as: an apartment over the garage. a tiny house (on a foundation) in the backyard. a basement apartment.

The City of Napa defines ADU’s as a small, accessory dwelling not intended for sale on the same lot as a single-family dwelling, meeting the standards identified in Section 17.52.015(F) of this code. (links to City of Napa website below)  A Junior ADU is an accessory dwelling contained entirely within an existing single-family structure, meeting the codes listed above.

What are the PROs of an ADU?

  • The rental income from an ADU could make buying a home more affordable for a buyer.
  • Someone in need of a caregiver could have said caregiver in their home at all times.
  • Makes rental units available and affordable to the workforce in Napa.
  • Allows workforce to live in Napa, which helps daily commuter traffic in and out of Napa.
  • A homeowner might not need all the space of their home.  They could move into their ADU and rent out the main part of the home to someone who would use the entire space.
  • A family member or friend could live with you.
  • Home office or studio.  No need to rent an office if there’s one attached to your home.
  • Use rental income to supplement lifestyle changes.

What are the CONs of an ADU?

  • More cars parked on the streets of residential neighborhoods.  One off street parking space is required per bedroom in most cases.
  • More people living in single-family residences.
  • ADU’s are not being used for housing.

There are of course many more pro and con arguments about ADU’s.

To build an ADU on a property the owner will need to work with the City of Napa to ensure they’re following all the guidelines.  The property owner will need to fill out an application to build an ADU with the city.  Follow the link to the City of Napa website for exact specifications.  Certain parts of the city have different regulations also.

It is my opinion that ADU’s are a good thing..  It will take many approaches to solve our housing problems.  ADU’s maybe one of them.  The PRO’s of ADU’s outweigh the CON’s of them.  An ADU may not be the best option for everyone.  Homeowners who’s situation could benefit from an ADU should look at all the options.

For more details go to:

City of Napa’s Website

Accessory Dwelling Unit Application

Do discuss ADU’s or for all your real estate needs go to:

Adam’s Website


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