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California is in the midst of a severe housing crisis. There is lack of affordable housing and not enough space in major cities to build new construction. One solution might be to build more Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as "granny flats."

The California Department of Housing and Community states, “Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are known by many names: granny flats, in-law units, backyard cottages, secondary units and more. No matter what you call them, ADUs are an innovative, affordable, effective option for adding much-needed housing in California.”

In an effort to bolster public awareness about ADUs, AIAPF hosted the one-day "Public Forum: The Accessory Dwelling Unit. Architects creating blueprints for better communities and the affordable housing challenge," on November 10, 2018 at Parsons Corporation.

The event garnered good public attention and was critical in beginning discussion about ADUs in communities. The free public program featured a panel of experts and provided the what's and how's of ADUs. General public and homeowners participated in the one-day forum to learn about ADUs and what architects do on a daily basis to improve our communities and the places in which we live. This was an exciting opportunity for everyone to learn about how architects add value to everyday with their unique technical and artistic skills.

Discussion about ADUs and architecture is important. Below are resources from the forum to help begin or continue the conversation in your city or home.

Special note: AIA Pasadena & Foothill, AIA San Diego, AIA Central Valley along with AIA California are working on a dedicated ADU website due to launch soon. This will become a valuable resource for the public when it goes live. Until then we will continue to update this page as new links and materials become available.



On May 30, 2019, the chapter lead a discussion on this very timely topic about "Cannabis Dispensaries in the Community." We were joined by reps from Coastal Dispensary on this talk about the economy and life safety concerns surrounding cannabis. This was a chance for architect members to get direction on how to respond to this type of project and how to navigate your way through the City. The cannabis industry will have big economic impact in our City and community. We will continue to monitor this issue as licenses will soon be granted.

“The application window for the City’s commercial cannabis program closed January 31st, 2019. A total of 128 applications were submitted... The applications are currently being reviewed... Applicants with the highest scores following both the review of applications and the interview will be identified to submit an application for a land use approval to receive a commercial cannabis permit. Interviews are anticipated to occur in June”  (City of Pasadena application website)



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