Kol Peterson, the owner of Accessory Dwelling Strategies LLC, is an ADU expert based in Portland, Oregon, who has helped catalyze the exponential growth of ADUs in Portland over the last decade through ADU advocacy, education, consulting, policy work, and entrepreneurship. He is the author of Backdoor Revolution-The Definitive Guide to ADU Development. He was the founder of Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel, the first tiny house hotel in the world, and organizer of Portland’s popular ADU Tour. He consults with homeowners about ADUs on their property, and teaches ADU classes for homeowners and for real estate agents in Oregon, Washington, and California and runs a national ADU Specialist designation with Earth Advantage. He edits and manages AccessoryDwellings.org and BuildinganADU.com. He is a technical consultant for AARP on ADU market adoption in jurisdictions and states. He served on the technical and rules advisory committees for Oregon’s House Bill 2001 to overhaul municipal residential zoning standards to allow for middle housing throughout Oregon. In 2021, he launched a business installing RV hookup infrastructure for tiny houses on wheels on residential properties in Portland, which are now allowed as legal housing in Portland.
Kol developed and lived in a detached new construction ADU in 2011, and developed and lives in a daylit basement/garage conversion ADU he built in 2018. He has a masters degree in environmental planning from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. Prior to his ADU work, Kol worked in the federal government for ten years in Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon.
Harvard Graduate School of Design
Master in Design Studies – Design and the Environment
Watershed planning, urban and regional planning, transportation planning, GIS.
Graduated – June, 2004
B.A in Environmental Studies, Religion
University of Wisconsin’s College Year in Nepal Program (1999-2000)
Graduated- May, 2001
Jingshan Xuexiao (Jingshan High School)
Mandarin language study exchange program. Beijing, China.
Accessory Dwelling Strategies LLC
January, 2015 to present
Caravan- The Tiny House Hotel LLC
Summer, 2013 to present
U.S. Forest Service (2010-2015)
Public Affairs Specialist for the Pacific Northwest Regional Office
Web communications, public affairs, new media.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2004-2010)
-Pacific Northwest Regional Office
Web collaborations and communications coordinator in EPA’s Oregon Operations Office
-Public Affairs Specialist
Web lead for the Office of Air and Radiation. Web 2.0 and social media trainer. Communications lead for Climate Protection Partnership Division (ie. Energy Star) and Stratospheric Protection Division (ie. ozone protection).
winter, 2009 to winter, 2010
-Detail as New Media Analyst to White House New Media team
Web Infrastructure and Web Content Coordinator in the Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. Policy and Communications team member. Managed contracts and NGO grants.
fall, 2006 to winter, 2009
-EPA Research Fellow
Smart Growth team coordinator in the Office of Water. Researched and developed policy about national land use planning and water quality. Coordinated interagency smart growth and stormwater management with federal partners and NGOs. Washington, D.C.
fall, 2004- fall, 2006
Harvard Planning and Allston Initiative
Performed land use and spatial, demographic analysis using Harvard University database information. Cambridge, MA.
Army Corps of Engineers
Consulted on the integration of community and environmental planning tactics for engineered water resource management projects. Concord, MA.
Charles River Conservancy
Authored a transportation master plan for an alternative intersection design along Charles River’s multi-use pathway. Cambridge, MA.
Northwest Regional Outdoor Science School
Field Instructor, Program Coordinator
Created an instructional curriculum, taught and facilitated educational programs in coastal ecology and marine biology. Portland, OR.
spring, 2002, 2003
Riccharina Foundacion Ecologica
Water Quality Surveyor
Remote user survey of rural water source quality. GPS. Cuenca, Ecuador.
World Wildlife Fund
Researched deforestation rates prior to the Kanchenjnga Conservation Area’s parkland designation. Kanchenjnga, Nepal.