California Gov. Brown signs “granny unit” bill to provide more affordable housing
Gov. Brown signs “granny unit” bill to provide more affordable housing
California State Senator Bob Wieckowski’s (D-Fremont) bill to reduce the barriers California homeowners face when seeking to build an accessory dwelling unit (granny flat) on their property will take effect this January after Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill today. Senate Bill 1069 is the most extensive bill on accessory dwelling units to be signed in almost 15 years. The Governor signaled his support for the bill in principle during his revise of the state budget in May.
“Removing the most egregious obstacles to building these units will help to increase the supply of affordable housing in California and allow more people to remain in the communities they call home,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate’s Transportation and Housing Committee. “SB 1069 returns more power to homeowners and reins in some of the enormous fees and requirements levied by local agencies. Governor Brown’s action will lead to more housing, more jobs and shorter commutes.”
SB 1069 eases regulatory burdens by eliminating excessive sprinkler requirements, providing several exceptions to parking restrictions, such as if the home is located within a half mile from public transit, requiring ministerial approval for the remodeling of existing homes and garages when they are compliant with building and safety codes, and making utility connection fees for brand new construction proportionate to the burden the accessory dwelling will place on the water or sewer systems.
“Governor Brown’s signing of Senator Bob Wieckowski’s SB 1069 creates a powerful tool for addressing California’s housing crisis by removing barriers that have discouraged homeowners from adding affordable second units,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “The Bay Area Council sponsored this bill because it has the potential to create thousands of affordable, accessory dwelling units statewide without any taxpayer subsidies. It’s a critical part of the solution to our state housing crisis. We thank Senator Wieckowski for his leadership on this important issue, as well as all of our many coalition partners who advocated for its passage through the Legislature.”
The White House’s Housing Development Toolkit cited California’s actions to reduce barriers and called for allowing more accessory dwelling units to help meet the affordable housing challenge.
“Accessory dwelling units offer one solution to this challenge by facilitating intergenerational living arrangements and allowing more seniors to age in place, something that nearly 90 percent of older Americans desire for themselves and their families,” the report said.
A 2015 University of California, Berkeley Center for Community Innovation study found a substantial market of Bay Area homeowners interested in building an accessory unit, but a significant number were deterred by unnecessary regulatory barriers. Attesting to the economic benefits the bill will provide, the California Chamber of Commerce placed SB 1069 on its “job creator” list of state legislation.
SB 1069 is supported by a huge coalition, including the Bay Area Council, AARP, the California Housing Consortium, the California Teachers Association, the East Bay Leadership Council, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and a number of environmental and affordable housing organizations.
Senate Bill No. 1069 – https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201520160SB1069
California eases restrictions on ‘granny units’
California homeowners interested in building accessory dwelling units on their property just caught a break, potentially shaving off thousands of dollars in fees and permits.
In a move proponents say will help ease the Bay Area’s housing crisis, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed Senate Bill 1069, making the so-called “granny units” easier and less expensive to build throughout the state.
Supporters of the bill, including the Bay Area Council, argue that easing restrictions could spur the creation of more affordable housing, especially in a region where rent has skyrocketed.
“The governor’s action is an important step in addressing California’s massive housing shortage,” Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council, said in a statement. “The success of SB 1069 represents a major victory for thousands of Californians who are struggling under the weight of skyrocketing rents and home prices.
Granny units coming to a neighborhood near you? Bill easing restrictions passes state Senate
Updated May 17, 2016, 3:24pm PDT
The California Senate delivered some good news on Monday to housing advocates and residents looking to add another unit to their properties.
By a 29-3 vote the Senate passed SB 1069, which would ease restrictions on building accessory dwelling units (ADUs), also known as granny and secondary units.
State Senate, Berkeley Professors Push In-Law Units as Housing Fix State bill might make it easier to build in-laws
BY ADAM BRINKLOW APR 26, 2016, 11:40A
Is there middle ground between those who insist that San Francisco needs to build like crazy and those who think the city is dense enough as it is? The answer could be in your own backyard.
That is the bid state senator Bob Wieckowski of Fremont is making with a bill that would make it easier to build accessory dwell units — Wieckowski’s more technical-sounding term for in-law units, granny flats, and other kinds of backyard cottages and extra apartments people add to parcels.
Wieckowski pitches in-laws as a tool to “make better use of our limited space in the Bay Area.” Fremont is the fourth most populous city in the Bay Area, and 15th in the state. This couldn’t come at a better time.
The bill, SB 1069, kicks away things like extra parking requirements and fees on water and sewer hookups, and shaves 30 days off the maximum time a city can take to process permits for accessory units.
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