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Accessory Dwelling Units And Water

(The Tuolumne County Association of Realtors has authored a new blog critical of a recent Letter to the Editor in the Union Democrat authored by TUD Board member Ron Ringen. In the letter, Ringen raised concerns about increasing accessory dwellings in the county as a way to help meet housing demand.)

TUD Director Ron Ringen’s recent accessory dwelling unit (ADU) letter to the Editor acknowledged Tuolumne County has a housing shortage but then went on to note several of his perceived “drawbacks” for ADUs to be part of our County housing solution. Had Mr. Ringen done any research related to his perceived ADU “drawbacks” he would have found that they have been carefully considered and addressed by CA State Law and the County Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance supported by the County Housing Policy Committee, the County Planning Commission and then adopted by the Board of Supervisors in 2020. The Ordinance can be found on the County website.

The State and County enacted legislation for ADUs because our State and County need more workforce housing and ADUs are part of the solution in many resort and tourist areas. ADUs can be built more affordably on existing parcels and coupled with reduced fees they provide housing at a more affordable cost for family members, renters and young families.

It has been well documented that our county needs more housing. As a TUD director Mr. Ringen should support cooperative housing solutions by not indicating he is in favor of restricting available water needed for affordable housing and our County economic recovery. Our elected TUD representatives should consider that a better solution would be for TUD to focus on reducing significant water loss out of the TUD open conveyance ditch system that loses more water than TUD actually sells to ratepayers.