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Ventura County grapples with new granny flats rules

Californians facing higher housing prices and longer commutes could benefit from relaxed granny flat rules.

Politicians call them Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and thanks to a new law property owners no longer need expensive permits to create detached, attached or re-purposed spaces.

Instead, they need to understand the recent chances and guidelines and fill out a simple form local planners can review.

Local governments can’t ban secondary units but they can add some restrictions.

Ventura County Supervisors asked planning manager Tricia Maier to improve an ordinance that will help the county handle secondary units in areas with parking and water issues.

Ventura County’s planning department has hand-outs that outline how garages and other areas can be safely used as ADUs.

Supervisor John Zaragoza said he likes what the state has done, but wants to make sure quality of life issues are addressed in unincorporated areas of the county.

Zaragoza hopes families with young adults and grandparents will be able to make space for them.

The law that took effect in January allows secondary units to be rented out, but not sold as separate properties. Meetings took place on Wednesday to fine-tune a county ordinance that may be voted on later the this month.

Other communities are also working to put their mark on the new legislation that can help them meet regional housing needs.

Thanks to Senate Bill 1069, developers are more likely to build homes with ADU’s or Junior ADUs. A junior unit offers an inside connection to a main house.

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