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  • Nancy Jane Williams

WHAT’S IN A NAME? Understanding ADU’s, ARU’s and Guest Houses on Kauai

Accessory dwelling units are sometimes called granny flats, ‘ohana units, guest cottages and in-law suites. But county rules distinguish between ADUs and other types of secondary dwellings. ADU: - Accessory dwelling unit/additional dwelling unit: A secondary residential unit attached to the main house or detached, with its own kitchen, bedroom and bathroom facilities. ADUs can be rented to anyone regardless of their relation to the homeowner. ʻOhana unit: A secondary dwelling that can only be occupied by family members. Honolulu is the only county that distinguishes between an ADU and an ‘ohana unit. Guest house: A second unit on a property that is less than 500 square feet and generally does not have kitchen facilities. Honolulu, Kaua‘i and Hawai‘i counties regulate them. Kaua‘i is the only county that allows kitchens in its guest houses. ARU: Kaua‘i County’s Affordable ARU program only applies to additional rental units whose rents do not exceed the maximum housing cost based on 90% of Kaua‘i’s median household income. On A-zoned property (agricultural) ARUs are not currently permitted.

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