[…] Granny flats are not new, and Orange County municipal codes long have allowed them. But they’ve mostly been restricted to homes on larger lots with single-family zoning. Now, cities throughout the region are reforming their laws to make it even easier for homeowners to build second units on their property, allowing them on smaller lots with fewer parking restrictions.
Additionally, new laws — adopted or under review from Laguna Beach to Pasadena — could make thousands of illegal guest houses across the Southland eligible for proper permitting. The activity is the result of a new state law that took effect at the beginning of the year designed to increase housing and perhaps help ease the housing crisis.
The legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last year encourages construction of mother-in-law units by making it easier and cheaper while increasing affordable housing options.
“California is in a housing crisis, and allowing people to modify their existing home or build a small cottage in their backyard will increase the rental supply at no cost to taxpayers,” state Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, author of one of two bills that’s easing regulation of granny flats. “It will also enable people of all ages to stay in the community they like without having to move away from their family, friends, work or school,” Wieckowski said. Mike Balsamo, chief executive of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, said granny flats will be “a drop in the bucket” in terms of solving the housing crisis. But, he said, “we’ll take it.” […]
Orange County reforms
At least a dozen Orange County cities either have revised their granny flat laws or are in the process of reviewing them. Costa Mesa’s Planning Commission reviewed a plan Monday, Sept. 11 that could make an estimated 13,000 homes eligible to have secondary housing units on their property, a city planner said. The Santa Ana City Council committee reviewed a draft ordinance Tuesday. The Laguna Beach Planning Commission will review proposed changes to its second-unit ordinance Wednesday, Sept. 20. […]
More housing needed
One fact is indisputable: Housing is in short supply — and it’s expensive.A report released earlier this year from the California Department of Housing and Community Development found the Golden State is woefully behind on home production. An average of 80,000 new homes have been built each year over the past decade, the study said, but that falls well below the 180,000 needed to keep pace with the state’s ever-growing population. National Association of Realtors figures also show California has some of the highest home prices in the nation […]
The Housing and Community Development report notes further that most California renters — more than 3 million households — pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent. And nearly one-third — more than 1.5 million households — pay more than half of their income in rent.
By Keven Smith and Jeff Collins (2017)
See full article at OC Register