CSAC Bulletin Article

Second Residential Unit Bills in Policy Committee Next Week

While the inclusion of the “by-right” multifamily housing development proposal and funding to build housing under the “No Place Like Home” initiative in the Governor’s May budget revision have attracted a lot of attention and staff time, CSAC continues to work with legislators on other proposals that aim to reduce barriers to the development of second units. Second units can include a new dwelling unit built on the same property as an existing home, or the conversion of part of an existing dwelling like a garage.

There are two legislative proposals related to local permitting of second residential units: AB 2299 by Assembly Member Richard Bloom and SB 1069 by Senator Bob Wieckowski. Both proposals would eliminate a provision in existing law that allows cities and counties to adopt an ordinance completely forbidding the construction of second residential units within their jurisdictions.

CSAC has concerns with both bills and we are working with the authors and sponsors to come up with a compromise solution. Our primary concern with AB 2299 is the requirement that every jurisdiction adopt a second unit ordinance (current law allows jurisdictions the option to use the process in state law if they do not have an ordinance). As for SB 1069, CSAC opposes the bill’s restrictions on utility fees for second units, parking restrictions when there isn’t necessarily robust transit serving a neighborhood, and the imposition of arbitrary timelines for issuing permits.

CSAC is hopeful that we will be able to develop a proposal that helps facilitate the construction of additional second units, while also limiting state interference with local land use planning authority. Second units can help local governments meet their regional housing needs allocations and can help increase housing supply in existing neighborhoods.

Separately from these second unit bills, CSAC is supporting AB 2406 (Thurmond). This bill allows local governments to facilitate the development of “junior accessory dwelling units.” These units must convert existing residential space within a house into an essentially separate dwelling unit, which can be rented to a tenant. AB 2406 and AB 2299 will be heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee next Tuesday and SB 1069 is set for hearing in the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee next Wednesday.

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