Creating a rental unit on your California property is getting easier. State
lawmakers have figured out a way to help ease the housing crisis by making
it legal for homeowners to build a backyard cottage, an in-law unit, or
convert the garage to create more living space. They’ve passed several
new laws that encourage the creation of what are now called “accessory
dwelling units,” or ADU’s, and there’s been an explosion of new permit
applications. However, local municipalities have not been as accommodating.
California Senator Bob Wieckowski is one of the lawmakers who’s making this happen. He’s now sponsoring his third piece of legislation to help reduce construction barriers and streamline the approval process for homeowners.
He introduced his latest bill, SB 831, at the beginning of the year. It
calls for the elimination of all local fees for ADU construction. It also
creates an amnesty program for unpermitted units, and it declares permit
applications automatically approved within 120 days if a local agency doesn’t
act on it.