March 10, 2017

Palo Alto ‘granny units’ encouraged by new zoning rules


Palo Alto’s city council recently made it easier to build ADUs – a great victory for the supply of affordable housing in one of the Bay Area’s most expensive real estate markets! Check out the Mercury’s summary of the Council’s decision:

The council voted 6-2 to allow the following:

* Elimination of lot size requirements so accessory units can be built anywhere. Previously, lots could have accessory dwelling units only if they were 35 percent larger than the minimum lot size in a particular zoning area.

* Conversion of existing structures, such as a garage, to accessory dwelling units.

* Conversion of an existing bedroom to a unit no more than 500 square feet with a kitchenette.

The council got rid of requirements — in some instances to comply with new state law — that dictated the orientation of the unit’s door, the height of the unit at a maximum of 17 feet and the parking availability to be two spots.

The council also asked city staff to devise incentives for residents to build such units, especially if the units are for low-to-moderate income residents, seniors, public employees and people with disabilities.

Read the original article at the San Jose Mercury News.