Laguna Planning Commission will review proposed changes for granny flats

Laguna Planning Commission will review proposed changes for granny flats
The Laguna Beach Planning Commission on Wednesday will review proposed changes to a city ordinance regarding accessory dwelling units, like this one-bedroom apartment in Glendale. Laguna city staff members recommend decreasing the minimum lot size by 2,000 square feet. (File photo)

The Laguna Beach Planning Commission on Wednesday will consider several proposed changes to an existing ordinance regarding living quarters known as granny flats.

City staff propose increasing the maximum size of an accessory dwelling unit, formerly called a second residential unit, from 640 square feet to 750 square feet, among other suggestions to align Laguna with state law changes.

The city also recommends a unit cover no more than 10% of a lot, an increase from Laguna's current 7% restriction, and reducing the minimum lot size on which a unit could be placed from 6,000 square feet to 4,000 square feet, provided the unit is deed restricted for a low-income person, according to a city staff report.

Accessory dwelling units are independent living facilities that have their own kitchens and restrooms.

Most commissioners during their September meeting said they favored either lowering the required square footage or eliminating lot-size restrictions altogether.

Laguna and other cities are tweaking their rules after Gov. Jerry Brown last year signed Assembly Bill 2299 from Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) and Senate Bill 1069 by Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).

The goal of the new legislation is to make it easier to develop affordable housing options for family members, students, seniors, in-home care providers and disabled persons.

State law waives parking requirements for accessory dwelling units under certain conditions, such as if a unit lies within a half-mile of public transit, or if the unit is part of an existing primary residence or an existing accessory structure.

City staff will incorporate feedback from commissioners and residents and return to the commission with a draft ordinance on Dec. 13.

Wednesday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

Twitter: @AldertonBryce