Results of ADU PresPoll

Author: Katlyn Cotton
Apr 14, 2021

This poll asked about ADUs – Accessory Dwelling Units. As we explained in the survey, we described ADUs as “independent housing units that occupy a lot that is otherwise zoned for a single-family home.” ADUs may be converted from existing structures such as a garage, basement, or carriage house, or they may be new construction.” The link to the survey was shared via our three Facebook pages (PlaceEconomics, Heritage Strategies International, and Donovan Rypkema) as well as on the “Historic Preservation Professionals” Facebook page, a private group with approximately 5,400 members. Additionally, we sent a link to the survey to our domestic and international mailing lists of more than 6,000.

Based on the responses of 210 survey participants, here are the eight most significant findings:

  • Preservation professionals are overwhelmingly in favor of ADUs. (See Question 7)
  • Among all employment sectors, age groups, and owner/renter households, the highest ranked positive benefit of ADUs is affordable housing. (See Question 5)
  • Loss of neighborhood character is a relatively minor concern as a possible negative consequence of ADUs. (See Question 6)
  • Preservationists are not NIMBYs. Nearly 8 in 10 (79.8%) say historic districts should not be exempt from ADU legislation. (See Question 4)
  • This belief that historic districts should not be exempt is held regardless of age, sector of employment, homeownership status, or the type of housing they occupy. (See Question 4)
  • While increased demand for parking and additional traffic are concerns, the potential negative impact of ADUs causing the greatest concern is the possibility that the extra unit will be used for short term rentals rather than permanent housing. (See Question 6)
  • More than 60% of respondents reported that their city already has legislation related to ADUs. (See Question 3)
  • Increased density ranks high on the positive consequences of ADUs and low in importance on the negative consequences. (See Three Cheers for Density).

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