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Santa Monica Lawmaker's "Granny Flat" Law Getting Update

04/15/2019 9:01 AM | Margaret Fulton (Administrator)

A 2016 law authored by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom that makes accessory dwelling units (ADU), or "granny flats," easier to build is headed for some updates.

On Wednesday, AB 881, which clarifies key provisions of the existing law, passed out of the Assembly Local Government Committee and is headed to the Appropriations Committee.

"AB 881 will help ADU statute to function as intended,” said Bloom, a former Santa Monica mayor.

The bill will likely have little impact in Santa Monica, which modified its granny-flat regulations last year.

The bill clarifies the definition of public transit and an ADU’s distance from it, as well as the types of existing structures that can be converted, according to Bloom's staff.

It also removes provisions that "have given cities unreasonably broad discretion for denying ADU permits."

In addition, it removes the owner occupancy requirement in the existing statute that "unfairly subjects ADUs to a requirement not in existence for any other kind of housing," Bloom's staff said.

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