San Jose eases rules to build granny units to increase housing stock

The changes, approved by the City Council last week, will help residents including Michael Lerner who’s building a tiny cottage in his backyard for his 20-year-old son.

“Many millennials are not ready to push out into the world,” said Lerner, 54, who owns a home repair business. “It’s an investment. This will provide my son a way to live off of the property after I’m gone by (him) being able to rent out the front while living in the back.”

Lerner’s backyard cottage — which will cost $10,000 when it’s done — means his son can move out of the family’s 3-bedroom house into the backyard unit. Lerner, who lost his high-tech job when the economy tanked, plans to rent his son’s room for $650 a month — providing extra income for the family and an affordable room for a struggling renter.

The handyman said he’s happy to see City Hall cut through some of the red tape, though he’s still grappling with complaints from a neighbor who’s unhappy about the unit’s windows facing her yard. He plans to address her concern by planting trees.

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Changes to San Jose’s zoning code, effective Jan. 1

  • Homeowners in two-family neighborhoods can build two secondary units.
  • Instead of requiring 6,000 to 8,000 square feet of land for granny units, homeowners only need 5,445 square feet.
  • Size of granny units increases from a maximum of 700 square feet to 800 square feet.
  • Homeowners can now build studio apartments as secondary units.
  • Materials used to construct the secondary units can be similar to those used on their main house.
  • Allow uncovered parking for a granny unit to be on the driveway.
  • In certain cases, eliminate parking requirements, as per SB 1069.
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Every city should be following suit and allowing this. It is an easy way to add housing, plain and simple. Sure, NIMBYs will complain about the increased cars parked on the streets but something has to give.

Could you be any slower???

So they dont do anything you bash, they do something you still bash.
Is it because san jose is no san francisco? :slight_smile:

I kid, but you have to admit that any town doing something about inlaw units now is way behind the curve, no? Maybe, it is because the Sharks suck and every other Bay Area major sports team has won it all…

whatever you say stepfather.

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Just open up the wallet and buy, buy, buy!!!