The State of California and the City of Santa Ana have determined that they want to increase the supply of “affordable housing” on the backs of single family residential neighborhoods, according to several neighborhood leaders.
In the City’s proposed ordinance (Zoning Ordinance Amendment 2016-05) there are two components. The State mandates are law and would be very difficult, expensive and time-consuming to revise or get relief from. The City recommended component is their “wish list” and can be defeated by Santa Ana residents.
- It is mandated by the State that additional parking NOT be a consideration in allowing “Accessory Dwelling Units” – otherwise known as Granny Flats. Also the State has loosened setback requirements and allowed greater latitude in removal of a garage or covered space. These are now California law.
- Neighborhood leaders argue that the City’s wish list of “Staff Recommended Changes” are even more onerous and potentially destructive to our neighborhoods. The City wants to allow “Second Dwelling Units” in large areas of the City now designated as “Park Deficient” where they are not currently allowed. Also the City wants to increase the allowable square footage of “Granny Flats” from 750 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft. – how much room does “Granny” require?
The State mandates are detrimental enough to our neighborhoods but neighborhood leaders feel that the City changes will pour gas on the fire. A number of local residents showed up to argue that point at tonight’s Santa Ana Planning Commission meeting. Their goal was to rebuff the Santa Ana “Staff Recommended Changes.”
The residents succeeded – at least for a time. At the Planning Commission meeting this evening the Planning Commission decided to postpone consideration of the “Accessory Dwelling Units” agenda item to an “undetermined future time.”
City staff appeared to be confused and a bit shaken over resident opposition. Residents expect that the City staff will re-group and make another attempt at pushing this through. The neighborhood leaders promise to remain vigilant.