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Newport begins tweaking ‘granny flat’ rules, including lower parking requirement

Glendale resident Karen Kwak lives in an upstairs, one-bedroom apartment called Accessory Dwelling U
Newport Beach is working to lower the parking requirement for “granny flats,” an example of which is pictured in Glendale.
(File Photo)

Newport Beach is working to keep up with changes to the state “granny flat” law that allows cities to require less parking than before.

The Planning Commission this week unanimously directed staff to change the local parking requirement from one space for studio and one-bedroom units and two spaces for larger units to a maximum of one space per unit, regardless of bedroom count.

Such residences, also known as accessory dwelling units, are small homes built on the same lots as larger single-family houses.

The city also is looking to clarify regulations to allow development of the units as new construction in single-family residential zones or as conversions of existing floor areas within single-family homes in all residential zones.


The proposed changes would go to the commission and ultimately the City Council for approval.

Both amendments are in response to updates at the state level.

A state law intended to make “granny flats” easier to build — and thus expand the stock of lower-cost housing — went into effect last year. Cities followed suit with locally tailored laws that allowed some discretion on zoning, lot and unit size and aesthetics. Newport approved its initial overhaul of local regulations last summer.

The city previously had restrictive rules on accessory units, generally banning them except those for people 55 and older.


Twitter: @Daily_PilotHD