ADU Real Life Stories

Bringing a dream to life Half Moon Bay homeowners Bill and Ruthie are like many other couples looking to set their adult children up for success when they are gone. But their days are packed with even more emotion than most parents: their 33-year-old son, Alex, has severe developmental disabilities. They knew they needed to create some distance between themselves and Alex so he could learn to live somewhat independently before they became too elderly to care for him at home. They agonized over what to do, even how to start thinking about Alex’s future without them by his side. Bill and Ruthie thought the best option would be for them to move out of the home they have long shared with Alex so he could remain in familiar surroundings with care givers. They looked at many options – buying or renting a second home nearby, moving to an area with lower housing costs, even docking a sailboat at the local marina – but none were feasible. They felt they had reached a dead end until Ruthie discussed their dilemma with a neighbor. The city, the neighbor told her, had made it easier to build second units. The next day Bill and Ruthie were talking with city planners. Today, Bill and Ruthie spend a few nights each week in a second unit they added to their existing home while Alex has round-the-clock care in the main.