Public Forum on the Accessory Dwelling Unit Sparks Community Interest and Ignites Discussion

Published : Wednesday, November 14, 2018 | 9:57 AM

The American Institute of Architects, Pasadena and Foothill Chapter, hosted the free event, “Public Forum: The Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). Architects creating blueprints for better communities and the affordable housing challenge,” on Saturday, November 10th at Parsons Corporation to a sold-out audience made up of homeowners, realtors, architects as well as city leader Councilwoman Margaret McAustin.

Panelists included William Huang, Housing Director, City of Pasadena, Karyn Jones, US Bank construction lending specialist, Chris Garner, Partner at Accessory Spaces, Jared Basler, founder of Basis Studio, and Frances Hardy, director of resource development San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity. The panel provided good perspective and information which generated numerous questions leading up to the Q&A session. Afterward, some attendees took advantage of free consultations with the experts.

Given the current housing crisis in California the interest in accessory dwelling units has grown. The forum was organized by the chapter as an opportunity to begin open discussion about the benefits of ADUs and how to go about working with an architect, funding the project and how to navigate the permitting process. Currently, the City of Pasadena has an ADU Ordinance in place and cities up and down the State are working on similar plans.

“We were pleased with the public response to the program. The event was sold out weeks in advance. This underscores the importance of architects and the chapter as a community resource for this type of building project,” said Jay Zapata, AIA chapter president and event chair. “ADU is a hot topic and people want and need more information. We plan to continue the discussion and to having these types of community events in the future in order to benefit and educate the public.”

To learn more about this type of project and future chapter events visit

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