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I trained as a journalist, then as an urban planner, then I worked as a writer and editor then as a planner. I learned to teach yoga, make quilts, do Photoshop, design websites and use MailChimp.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A big article appears today in the Union about the use of second units or “granny flats” as a means to decrease the low cost housing shortage and increase incomes.
Also I notice that the Oceanside Planning Commission has a discussion of this issue on its work plan for the coming year. 
A couple of thoughts here:
--It sounds like a fine idea in many ways.  But there are a couple of things ot think about early on.  Many of the older, more dense neighborhoods where it is likely to be requested and where it is already happening informally  would have parking issues.   And in many of those neighborhoods there are already parking issues, plus fairly narrow streets.
That being said, many of these neighborhoods are close to public transit.   But it is not possible to really tie the tenant to not having a car.
--Where it would seem to be a better idea would be in the post 60’s subdivisions where the lots are at least  6,000  square feet feet and there are already fairly large setbacks  and driveways in addition to their being a two car garage.  The streets are also quite wide with plenty of room for parking on both sides.  
 I live in such an area, but my lot would not be deep enough.  Some parcels here would be large enough including some nice sloped areas and some homes with second stories already  which with some tweaking of the floor plans to add kitchens, and stair cases re-arranged could be converted to extra units.  With the proliferation of very large homes  during the last 20 years or so, plus the demand by aging baby boomers for both housing and income, it might work with some careful thought.
But this type of neighborhood is the one most likely to feel threatened.  One thing to look at for some areas would be making and enforcing “senior citizen rules.”

An interesting discussion and study lies ahead.