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2017 ADU Tour Wrap-Up

Here’s a summary of the ADU Tour in Portland on September 9th and 10th: good times, great weather, lots of smiles and learning. 600 people attended each day to see the 12 ADUs featured in NE Portland and the 12 ADUs in SE Portland.

The ADU Tour project profile pages are now public.  So, even if you weren’t on the tour, you can now read up on the 24 ADUs that were featured. The ADU profiles include lots of details about their costs, among other things.

The Oregonian created some great video interviews throughout the tour. They’re quite long, but I’d recommend checking them out if you’re interested in ADUs (which you probably are since you’re reading this). Search for the twelve ADU Tour videos from here:

For three of the ADU Tours, I’ve asked attendees whether the return of Portland’s System Development Charges (SDCs) would deter them from building an ADU in a follow-up survey. (*Note: SDCs, sometimes called Residential Impact Fees in other jurisdictions, are fees that housing unit developers pay to their jurisdiction to account for the infrastructul impacts of housing development. Portland’s SDCs are currently waived for ADUs, but this waiver is planned to sunset in July, 2018. )

For the 3rd year in a row, the responses to this question have been extremely consistent. Roughly 3/4 of the prospective ADU owner/builders would not build a permitted ADU in Portland if the SDCs return at the rates the City of Portland currently plans.


Check out how similar the previous two survey results have been.

Sruvey feedback from the Fall 2015 ADU Tour

Survey feedback from the Spring 2015 ADU Tour

Many people have asked me about the timing of the next ADU Tour. Here’s the word on that.

We would only run another tour if there is a market for ADUs. If there’s no market for ADUs, than the ADU tour will no longer serve any useful purpose, and we will no longer run it.

And it appears from the data above that the return of the SDCs would largely kill the ADU market in Portland.

We definitely will not be running another ADU Tour in the summer/fall of 2018 because of this unpredictability. I can’t be more specific about prospects for another ADU Tour until there is clarity around the impacts of the looming SDCs issue.

About Kol Peterson

Kol is an ADU consultant, advocate and author of Backdoor Revolution: The Definitive Guide to ADU Development. Read more here: and learn about building your own at Email at


This entry was posted on September 12, 2017 by in Events, News and tagged , .
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