Reduce VMT by zoning – ADUs

Description: An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a separate dwelling unit that contains independent kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities, and is located on a residential zoned lot, subordinate to main dwelling. On 12/12/17 and 10/2/18 Santa Rosa, CA amended the ADU section of its Zoning Code in support of the City’s Housing Action Plan, with reduced fees and creation of a small “junior ADU” category with relaxed requirements. On March 3, 2020 the city adopted an urgency code with additional amendments to bring the city zoning code into compliance with state law and to include local protections and clarifications.

ADUs and Junior ADUs added to existing urban neighborhoods increases population density and, compared to sprawl development, reduces the need for vehicle miles traveled. Similarly, because the ADU is often in an existing building or in a newly built or renovated structure subject to current building energy efficiency standards, energy use is reduced.

Goal: Reduce Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) by zoning to facilitate development of ADUs and increase energy efficiency

Measurement: Net reduction in GHG in region compared to business as usual

Time to Implement:


Description of the updated zoning code, with Q&A

Text of the code itself

Additional Information:

Contact Info:

Santa Rosa City Planner
(707) 543-4698, then choose option 2

Sectors(s) Transportation & Land Use
Date First Adopted March 3, 2020
Last Updated January 14, 2021
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