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San Diego County votes to waive fees to encourage 'granny flat' development in unincorporated areas

Granny flat Point Loma
Posted at 2:36 PM, Jan 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-09 17:36:17-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego's Board of Supervisors Wednesday approved a new initiative to encourage homeowners in the county's unincorporated areas to develop "granny flats" to help ease the region's housing shortage.

The initiative will waive county permit and development impact fees over the next five years for property owners who want to build granny flats or other small dwellings on lots with existing homes. The hope is those units will then be used for family members or rented out as a source of income for property owners.

The waivers apply to property owners in the county's unincorporated areas, including Alpine, Julian, Fallbrook, Lakeside, and Valley Center, as part of the county's General Plan.

MAKING IT IN SAN DIEGO: Family chooses 'granny flat' option with San Diego's lower fees

“This is a critical step in our on-going efforts to address the region’s housing crisis, especially the serious need for affordable housing,” Dianne Jacob, the board chairwoman, said in a release. “This new program is the quickest and easiest way for us to expedite the development of housing.”

To cover the cost of the fee waivers, the county will pump $11 million into the program over the five-year period.

“There is no single solution to the regional housing shortage, but an average savings of $14,000 for an accessory home will raise property values and offer more affordable places to live,” Supervisor Jim Desmond said in a release. “We will continue to be creative and challenge the status quo to solve the region’s housing crisis.”