Encinitas’ proposed ‘granny flat’ law advances to state commission


Encinitas’ quest to provide property owners more opportunities for converting auxiliary buildings and rooms into homes now hinges with the California Coastal Commission.

The council voted 5-0 without discussion Wednesday, Oct. 24, to pass its ordinance loosening the regulations on the habitation of accessory dwellings.

Since the council’s approval was in response to recommendations from the commission, the law should have no problem getting the blessing later this year from the state agency, which oversees coastal development statewide.

Once enacted, Encinitas’ law will loosen restrictions on the ability of landowners to convert out-buildings and extra bedrooms into legally valid homes, often referred to as “granny flats.”

Though the city had earlier this year approved the accessory dwelling unit ordinance, the commission’s staff rejected it based on concerns that the looser limits would not provide adequate environmental protection in areas of sensitive habitat and slopes.

City planners revised the proposed ordinance to comply with the commissions’ concerns.

City officials said they heard strong public interest in allowing more accessory units earlier this year..

No one from the public, however, spoke about the issue at Wednesday’s meeting or the one on Oct. 7, when the council held a public hearing and gave initial approval to the ordinance, without opposition.