State Sen. Bob Wieckowski’s SB 13 will help California ease its housing crunch by making it easier to build granny units on their property.

Click here to read the article on Mercury News

By BOB WIECKOWSKI and MATT MAHOOD |

PUBLISHED: April 16, 2019 at 6:10 am | UPDATED: April 16, 2019 at 6:12 am

California needs to streamline regulations on developing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in order to ensure that cities like San Jose can provide a key piece to the affordable housing puzzle.

ADUs, also known as granny flats or in-law units, offer desperately needed housing that can help provide affordable housing options for renters as well as a substantive source of income for homeowners. ADUs can be inhabited by children returning home from college, new Silicon Valley employees or even grandparents looking to downsize and age in place.

Cities across the state have adopted their own ADU policies and programs to help homeowners apply for permits to develop them. However, there are still significant barriers in various city policies that hinder a homeowner’s ability to construct an ADU. The city of San Jose is permitting fewer ADUs annually than the city of Los Angeles’ rate of almost 400 permits a month. Part of the reason for this significant difference has to do with population size and staff capacity, but regulations are really the root cause of the clog in the pipeline.

At a recent state legislative hearing on ADUs, the state Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) outlined several barriers facing California homeowners.  They include owner occupancy rules and deed restrictions that require an owner to live in one of the units, unreasonable minimum lot sizes that restrain development, substantial fees that have not been revised, and fire sprinkler requirements that violate state law.

Both residents and businesses should support Sen. Bob Wieckowski’s SB 13, which would make it easier for cities to build ADUs by streamlining the permit process and deconstructing many of the barriers just listed. The bill, which recently passed its first committee hearing with bipartisan support, creates a tiered-fee structure with rates that rise based on the size of the ADU. It prohibits owner-occupancy requirements, which are not used on other forms of housing. It provides an amnesty program that would ease the path to permitting pre-existing, unpermitted units and brings them up to code. It also allows for enhanced enforcement to ensure local agencies are following the law on ADUs.

ADU reform is low hanging fruit that can be easily streamlined and implemented across California to help meet Gov. Gavin Newsom’s housing goal of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025 and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo’s goal of 25,000 new homes by 2023. This would bring much needed housing to our local teachers, seniors, college graduates, construction workers and so many more Bay Area residents that are being priced out of their communities due to the lack of supply and the increase in demand. If we fail to fully embrace the potential of ADUs to be part of the solution to this housing shortage, we will see more of our neighbors hitting the road for good.

Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, represents the 10th District in the California Senate..  Matt Mahood is the president and CEO of The Silicon Valley Organization.

More Posts

You Might Also Like

COVID 19 Resource Center
Does your work-from-home toolkit include data-driven decisions? It should.
The 2020 pandemic has acted as a stark innovation accelerator, as companies had to scramble to adapt to remote work, and the challenges it brought into light.When CEO Satya Nadella presented Microsoft’s quarterly earnings to Wall Street at the end of April 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, he said he had witnessed “two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months: from remote teamwork and learning, to sales and customer service, to critical cloud infrastructure”.As a company headquartered in Milan, Italy—one of the areas that was first and worst affected by the Covid-19 outbreak—we realized early in the fight against the virus that it would change the way we work, learn and, unfortunately, interact and socialize, for good.Here are some of the innovation challenges we have worked with our clients to tackle, and the lessons we learned along the way.
Sep 14, 2020
iGenius
SVO Foundation
Meet the Leadership Class of 2020
Meet our Leadership San Jose class of 2020!
Sep 2, 2020
The Silicon Valley Organization
COVID 19 Resource Center
CA's Newest Framework & Guidelines to Reopening Businesses
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a new system to monitor the coronavirus in California, revamping the state’s watchlist for its 58 counties into color-coded levels that should simplify the process of reopening. This new system, also known as "CA's Blueprint for a Safer Economy" is the next evolution of the state's COVID-19 response. Every county is now assigned to a color tier based on its rate of new cases & positivity to determine which sectors can operate. Here on this new site you can type in your county and look up what activity is allowed. Under this new framework, hair salons, barbershops and indoor malls are allowed to operate indoors under the state's new system, but only at 25% capacity as of August 31. Please continue reading for more information...
Aug 31, 2020
The Silicon Valley Organization
Press Releases
Mayor Liccardo Announces Hotel Partnership “San Jose Cares”
City of San Jose, Team San Jose and Hotel Partners team up to offer reduced rates to fire evacuees.
Aug 24, 2020
Office of Mayor Sam Liccardo
COVID 19 Resource Center
How has the pandemic changed your business and what are you offering right now?
Businesses all over the country have been forced to re-imagine their business models, and tap into their creativity in order to sustain their livelihood. Some of our very own SVO members, including Christy Wright shared how the pandemic taught her to focus on what she loves. Read the rest of her blog to see how the pandemic changed her photography business.
Aug 18, 2020
Christy Wright
COVID 19 Resource Center
Financial Aid Options — Loans, Grants & Relief Funds
All the different Financial Aid options— Loans, Grants & Relief Funds are listed here.
Aug 11, 2020
The Silicon Valley Organization
Explore ALl Posts
Follow Us

We’re on Instagram