A California bill that aims to increase the housing stock by easing the construction of second housing units got a stamp of approval from a Senate committee Tuesday. The California Association of Realtors sponsored the legislation, Assembly Bill 2702, which was introduced by state Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg, (D-Sacramento).

The bill passed with a 7-3 vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee. “AB 2702 does not alter local zoning laws, but allows second units to be built under those laws without forcing homeowners to have to go before a public hearing,” said Ann Pettijohn, president of the state association.

“(The bill) does not strip cities of local control – it continues to allow local governments to prohibit second units. AB 2702 simply prevents local governments from acting as though they are promoting second units, when in fact their local requirements effectively prevent the building of second units,” she also said.

But the bill does set some limitations on local governments’ second-unit policies. “The bill would…prohibit a local agency from establishing minimum unit-size requirements for attached and detached second units below 550 livable square feet unless requested by the owner and would revise the parking requirements for second units,” for example, according to the text of the proposed bill.

Also, the bill would broaden the range of residents who could occupy second units. “The bill would prohibit a local agency from adopting an ordinance that requires an owner’s dependent or caregiver to occupy the primary dwelling or second unit or that limits occupancy based on familial status, age, or other specified characteristics.”

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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