2020 may be a good time to build a granny flat in California

This perfect storm prompted the California Legislature and Gov. Gavin Newsom to do something. Starting in August, the governor signed six accessory dwelling unit or ADU-related bills (three of the six were updates and changes) that will become law on Jan. 1.

There is not much red tape.

Local governments won’t have discretionary review powers, said Greg Nickless, housing policy analyst at the California Housing and Community Development Department. Ordinances can’t conflict with state code, he said. ADU’s only can be denied if water or sewer utilities are inadequate or for traffic and public safety concerns.

Explain that to the TRPA. Locals here in Tahoe are headed in the other wrong direction. They want a vacancy tax on vacation homes. $5k per house and $2500 per condo per year. Communism pure and simple. And an additional 1% sales tax … the wacko left is on the advance. Bet they will be shocked when Newsom is recalled and Trump wins again.


I think you would do well to have those two names switched. :muscle:

I have a hard time seeing why anyone would want to build a granny flat unless it’s to house their granny. Or grandchild. Given the way rent control laws are going, you stand a chance of not seeing a return on your investment.

Many people are pretty ignorant of rent control laws. They don’t know how much they get to lose.


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People who read this forum regularly know the ins and outs of rent control. We are the smart bunch. :innocent:


Gavin Newsom signs granny flat, housing density laws that target California cities

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article235955617.html#storylink=cpy


The video title is “Why Newsom feels the California dream is in peril.” Even the state governor isn’t optimistic about the place.

I am curious about the part limiting local fees. I imagine local governments will challenge that in court.

This guy, his efforts led to increase in gas tax, and then when the gas prices went really high(@$60/barrel of crude only) he said “We must investigate what is leading to high gas prices in CA”. Even used car salesmen are more credible than him.

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Its the just cause eviction laws + RC laws that is the dirty secret of ADUs. Good luck ever trying to sell your house if you have a tenant in the ADU without doing a big payout.

This is the dirty secret that no politician ever ever talks a about when crowing their efforts on solving the housing “crisis.”


When my parents died in Berkeley in 2001. We were very lucky their garden cottage tenant moved out voluntarily. Selling would have been a nightmare otherwise. My farm in Eldorado county has a granny flat over the barn. The county and my HOA has restrictions on its use. I wonder if the state rules will change that?

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Looks like irrespective of how much FAR ( sqaure footage of the house is already built ). California will still allow a ADU in the backyard

Any regular on this forum should know the danger of building an ADU. I have been against building one since Day 1.

Don’t ever lose your SFH status. NEVER.


And if someone passes a law restricting vacancy, you’re doubly screwed.

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If you build an Adu and junior adu , so then your Sfh becomes a 3 unit. The cash flow can be pretty nice on a $600k sfh, at least for Bay Area standards.

Will TRPA honor the FAR exception? Or will they tell Newsom to shove it?

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If you want cash flow you should invest in Texas. You get cashflow on your Bay Area house today but you will lose 100K+ on house value down the road.

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I think local jurisdictions can’t BY pass these laws. So for example
Monte Serebo was sent this letter from concereed californians


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Nice cash flow, but the problem is that your SFH would no longer be an SFH. There would be two dwelling units under one title. For those that followed the development of AB1482 and the last minute verbiage added to exempt dwelling units that could be held under separate titles (thus respecting Costa Hawkins) this should be very familiar.

It is a slippery slope with JCE and RC, especially as CA seems to have a thing against property rights as it applies to MFH. The question is - is that cash flow worth it to lose SFH status?