A project of the Santa Clara County Planning Collaborative

A project of the Santa Clara County Planning Collaborative


Embracing Change, Building Connection
Menlo Park

Our kids went away to college, and when we looked out at our yard, we saw opportunity. We knew the space next to our house could be transformed into an income-generating second unit. 

We had some concerns — we’d need to give up our garden, and share our lot with people didn’t know. These concerns easily could’ve kept us from starting, but I’m also a designer and I know that a well-crafted building could compliment our beautiful yard and be designed in a way to respect everyone’s privacy. Now I have a beautiful, contemporary, ADU to look out onto and it blends seamlessly with our landscaping. The unit is two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an office.

I also didn’t realize that having close neighbors could actually be a positive thing – it provides peace of mind, knowing that our tenants are nearby to keep an eye on things when we’re away. We have no problem renting out the second unit, since it’s located near major employers.  

I was initially hesitant about having tenants in our space, but I now fully embrace it. I even dropped plans to build a fence around the second unit.

"It’s really important for us all to acknowledge we are co-existing. It’s been really wonderful."


ADU floorplans_San Mateo_Surinder


Looking for more inspiration?

Check out our floorplans inspiration gallery to see the layouts of real adus across california.

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