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3 Things to Consider When Building a Granny Flat

Want to build a granny flat in the city? Here’s what you need to know



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To help ease the current housing crunch, the City of San Diego recently revamped its rules for building companion units—more commonly known as granny flats or guest houses—making the guidelines less complicated and more cost-effective. But with each municipality having different requirements, constructing a companion unit can still be a complex calculation. Here are some things to consider:

 

On Location

Different neighborhoods mean different rules—and fees. Within San Diego city limits, for instance, neighborhoods west of the 5 currently need a coastal development permit, which could increase the time and cost to build. 

 

Parking Not

No parking? No problem, at least in many parts of the city. It used to be that a new companion unit would require an additional parking space. Now there are plenty of exceptions. For instance, if a unit is less than 500 square feet or one block away from a car share program spot, no additional parking space is required.

 

Size Matters

In the city, the new rules dictate that a companion unit can’t exceed 50 percent of the main house’s area, to a maximum of 1,200 square feet—so don’t get any big ideas.

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