Photo courtesy Business Wire.
Photo courtesy Business Wire.

Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo Monday praised a new state law that reduces red tape and the cost of building “granny flats,” which he said will help ease the city’s housing crunch.

Accessory Dwelling Units — commonly referred to as granny flats — are secondary units built on the property of a single-family home, such as a converted garage, a guest house or a smaller unit within an existing home.

SB 1069, whick took effect on Jan. 1, eased a number of regulations on granny flats by reducing parking restrictions, eliminating sprinkler requirements, reducing or eliminating water and sewage hookup fees, increasing the maximum allowed size of a granny flat, and requiring ministerial approval of conversion of an existing structure to a granny flat.

Cedillo’s office estimated the new law could help create 5,000 to 10,000 new units in Los Angeles.

“We have a housing crisis in Los Angeles and an incredible need for 100,000 units of housing,” Cedillo said, referring to a city goal to build that many units by 2021.

Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, authored SB 1069, which applies to granny flat units under 1,200 square feet.

Appearing alongside Cedillo at a City Hall news conference, the Bay Area lawmaker said he had found it was costing some homeowners up to $60,000 in regulatory fees just to get approval to build a granny flat, essentially the same regulatory cost of building a 10,000-square-foot mansion.

“So we put together a bill that attacks some of these barriers and removes some of these barriers and returns the decision making to the person who owns the house,” Wieckowski said.

–City News Service

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