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Monica D. Higgins / Budget  / New Legislation Makes it Easier to Build a Granny Flat!

New Legislation Makes it Easier to Build a Granny Flat!

Are you looking to expand your own space or renovate in the hopes of selling for maximum profit? Perhaps your family is growing or you’d like to add a rentable space to your living situation?

If any of the above are true for you, read on, because there’s great news for California Homeowners.

With the new legislation that’s just passed Bill AB-2939 to be exact the cost and process to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), also know as a Granny Flat, is easier than ever. Keep in mind that two sets of rules apply, depending on if your new addition is created within an existing space (bedroom, attic, garage, or basement) or if it adds square footage outside or on top of existing structures (attached or detached).

Let’s take a closer look now and break it down some key points:

  1. Water Fees: It was the case in some districts that water and sewer fees on even small units would be significantly charged — reaching into the tens of thousands of dollars in some cases. But now, when you’re building within existing space, there are no more additional fees! This is just another way you’ll save, and, in the end, make money off your new addition.
  2. Utilities:  Homeowners cannot be required to install a new or separate connection for units built within an existing space, nor can a connection fee or capacity charge be enforced. Charges can apply to units built outside of an existing space but must be “proportionate to the burden.”
  3. Parking: Additional Parking is no longer required for units created within an existing space, including a garage-turned-Granny Flat! This alone is a huge burden off of most homeowners. One parking space is still required (per bedroom) for detached or attached additional square footage — BUT—  can be tandem and placed in an existing driveway or setback area. Parking can also be completely waived if you’re second unit is within one-half mile of public transit or your home is located in a historical district.

With these and some other minor amendments, you can see how great these changes are in lowering the cost and requirements for creating your Granny Flat, or as it’s officially called, Accessory Dwelling Unit. 

So what are waiting for? Get building and if you dare, read the bill in full here!

To learn more about remodeling, read more great advice here!

Brooke Tuzil

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