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ADU Construction Still Difficult in California

Accessory dwelling units should be easier to build in California, but the process is still slow and complicated in many cities, say housing advocates.
January 22, 2019, 11am PST | Camille Fink
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Brett VA

California state legislation easing the red tape and lowering the costs of building accessory dwelling units was supposed to spur construction and help with the state’s affordable housing crisis. But, many local municipalities have been slow to get ADU developments moving along, reports Louis Hansen:

Many more residents are requesting applications for ADUs than actually getting construction permits to build, [David] Garcia said. Homeowners often still find the process daunting and filled with unexpected costs. They report getting conflicting guidance from local planners and being hit with high fees for local services and schools.

Housing advocates and developers want cities to do more to help homeowners who want to build the units. The California Renters Legal Advocacy and Education Fund has filed a lawsuit against San Francisco alleging that zoning ordinances prohibit ADUs on most properties in the city and the discretionary review process can hold up projects indefinitely.

While some cities are resisting the ADU changes, Hansen writes that others are pushing forward. For example, San Jose eased zoning restrictions last year, and ADU construction is now permitted on many more lots in the city. 

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, January 17, 2019 in The Mercury News
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