By: State Senator Bob Wieckowski
June 20, 2019 —
Senate Bill 13 to reduce some of the remaining barriers homeowners face when trying to build Acessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s), also known as granny flats, passed the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee this morning.
“We are in a severe housing crisis and homeowners who build ADUs are making an important contribution to help us resolve it by providing additional housing,” said Senator Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Housing Committee. “This bill will help more of them achieve their goal of building a small unit on their own property. We should be encouraging this behavior rather than blocking it with excessive fees, owner occupancy requirements and other restrictions.”
SB 13 reduces developer impact fees on ADUs, eliminates owner occupancy requirements, and provides an amnesty program to bring existing unpermitted units up to code within five years if they already meet health and safety codes. Wieckowski accepted amendments in the committee to limit the amnesty clause to units built before Jan. 1, 2020 and to make a 60-day time period for considering an ADU application begin when the jurisdiction receives a “complete” application.
“Accessory dwelling units can provide a lot of much needed new housing with no public subsidy in a very short timeframe,” said Matt Regan, senior vice president of public policy with the Bay Area Council. “SB 13 removes some of the remaining impediments that are deterring homeowners from considering an ADU. The Assembly should pass this important bill as quickly as possible.”
The state Department of Housing and Community Development testified at an informational hearing earlier this year that excessive impact fees and owner occupancy requirements were two of the biggest remaining obstacles preventing more people from pursuing development of an ADU.
In addition to the Bay Area Council, SB 13 is supported by a number of organizations including California YIMBY, California Association of REALTORS, California Building Industry Association, Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California, Eden Housing, and many others.
This article courtesy of Sierra Sun Times
Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes southern Alameda County and parts of Santa Clara County.