Acsessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s) 

Accessory Dwelling Units – also known as in-law quarters, granny flats, or more commonly known as back houses! Back in 2016 a Bill passed easing the local restrictions on these accessory units. Sen. Bob Wieckowski is back with Senate Bill 831, which would prevent local cities/counties from charging fees to newly permitted in-law units. These “impact fees” help pay for local schools, water and other services. I don’t think the local government will like this idea very much BUT in addition, this Bill would also create an amnesty program for the many existing granny units that are not permitted. I think there are probably hundreds, if not thousands of `illegal units’ in LA County alone. The amnesty program will allow these homeowners to document their additions and bring the unasked about in to light. I feel that this is a good thing because it can be a huge liability issue too, since you probably cannot insure the unpermitted additions.

Senator Bob Wieckowski thinks this can also help ease California’s housing crisis. For one, the bill would allow you to build something new at 1,200SF or less (other restrictions may apply), convert a garage into living space, possible slice and dice your current home, add another kitchen + door for your child now married or rent it out. I think one of the best part about this bill is that once you apply for this permit, there is a 120 day automatic approval clause IF the local authorities do not look at it.

How many of you spent countless days at your City Planners Counter to only needing to come back to provide more documents and pay more fee’s and extending your project deadline?

My take on it? I really like this idea. I know my City hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the affects on Accessory Dwelling Units a few months back. I like this idea because it truly helps with my situation. I am the first generation born American. My mother will always be in need of one of these granny flats! LOL! Instead of needing to find a 2 house on a lot, or a duplex big enough for me and my family + space for her, I can just build one of these flats.

If you are not in my situation, you can always still have one of these ADU’s if you feel that it can bring value to your property. Perhaps renting it out to a college student or someone who works nearby, or heck, even someone who just don’t want to move out and is being on the verge of getting priced out due to affordability. I didn’t think of this until now, but if you are self employed, that guest house/ in law flat – whatever you want to call it, can also be your home base, home office. I think these ADU’s can bring so much value to our State. I am excited to see where it goes!



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