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Grover Beach considers easing ADU restrictions

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Grover Beach is considering an ordinance that city staff say would make it easier for residents to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and tiny homes, an effort that staff say would increase the city's limited affordable housing supply.

ACCESSORIZING A proposed ordinance in Grover Beach would ease regulatory barriers and costs for the development of ADUs and streamline the city's ADU approval process, a move city staff say could increase the city's affordable housing stock. - SCREENSHOT FROM GROVER BEACH STAFF REPORT
  • Screenshot From Grover Beach Staff Report
  • ACCESSORIZING A proposed ordinance in Grover Beach would ease regulatory barriers and costs for the development of ADUs and streamline the city's ADU approval process, a move city staff say could increase the city's affordable housing stock.

At a meeting on June 22, Grover Beach City Council discussed a number of changes to the city's municipal code that would ease regulatory barriers and costs for the development of ADUs and streamline the city's ADU approval process. The changes, according to senior planner Rafael Castillo, would bring Grover Beach into compliance with recently passed state laws that require local municipalities to allow the development of ADUs, a strategy for mitigating the state's housing shortage.

"These ADUs are really key for us, the city of Grover Beach, to hit our targeted goals for very low- and low-income units," Castillo said at the June 22 meeting.

Through the proposed ordinance, Grover Beach would reduce the minimum size of an ADU from 220 square feet to 150 square feet, while increasing the maximum size allowed to 1,200 square feet. The ordinance would eliminate a guideline requiring all ADU developers more than a half mile away from public transit to provide parking for the unit, according to a city staff report, and it would eliminate development impact frees for ADUs that are 750 square feet or less, among other changes.

The ordinance would also allow for the development of junior ADUs that are fully contained within an existing residence, and would give the green light to temporary tiny homes on residential lots.

If the changes are approved by City Council at the next regular meeting, Castillo said it's estimated that about 180 ADUs would be built by 2028, half of which would qualify as low-income units. The rest would likely be used as moderate-income housing.

That would be a big help for the city, which has a goal, from the Regional Housing Needs Allocation, of adding 148 very low- and low-income housing units to Grover's housing stock by 2028.

At the June 22 meeting, the proposed changes received support from Grover Beach City Council members, including Mariam Shah, who said she was glad to hear that ADUs could propel the city toward its affordable housing goals.

"That's really good news," Shah said at the meeting. "That could help us a lot." Δ

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