Garden Grove

Not yet, says council on ADU rules

A DECISION ON whether to approve an ordinance incorporating new state law on accessory dwelling units into city law was postponed for two weeks by the Garden Grove City Council Tuesday night (Shutterstock).

Bristling under new state law expanding the use of accessory dwelling units, the Garden Grove City Council dug in its heels a bit Tuesday night and declined to give immediate approval to a ordinance incorporating that law into local ordinances.

The council voted 7-0 to postpone for two weeks a decision on the changes to bring city law into line with new state regulations intended to provide more housing in a time of homelessness, as well as encourage people to use public transportation.

An ADU is defined as a secondary house or apartment that shares the building lot of a larger, primary house.

A major change is to allow such extra housing not just in single-family zones, but also in multiple family housing and mixed-use areas.

“I think this is a really terrible policy,” said Councilmember George Brietigam (District 1). “It destroys communities.” He predicted the paving over of backyards. “It effectively kills the garden in Garden Grove.”

“Garden Grove will change forever for the worst,” said Councilmember John O’Neill (District 2). “This is being crammed down our throats.”

Phat Bui, councilmember for District 4, suggested that higher fees be charged to help offset the impact of the changes, but was told that state law placed limits on such fees. Bui also raised concerns about how parking issues would be addressed.

On the other hand, Councilmember Kim Nguyen (District 6) said that some people would benefit from the change by providing more housing, although she acknowledged that the impact would be “monumental.”

While new state law does impose specific rules and restrictions, it provides an opening for a city to limit the number of bedrooms in such units.

“We owe it to the residents to do our due diligence,” said Councilmember Stephanie Klopfenstein (District 5), urging more research on the potential limits of the state law.

Finally, Bui moved to postpone the planned public hearing for two weeks to seek ways to “tighten” up the ordinance so it wasn’t any more lenient than the state requirements.

Also on Tuesday night, the council deadlocked 3-3-1 on a motion to approve introduction of a zoning text amendment changing the density bonus and other incentives for affordable housing in residential and mixed-use zones.

Voting yes were Mayor Steve Jones, Kim Nguyen and Thu-Ha Nguyen, with Brietigam, Bui and O’Neill voting no. Klopfenstein abstained.

Also Tuesday night, the council voted 7-0 to support the creation of a Youth Action Committee to get input and involvement from high school-age residents of the community.


1 reply »

  1. This is one of the worst things that could happen to a community. Parking would be one negative for sure- drive through the streets of Long Beach to see what multiple homes on one property has done there. The density of our neighborhoods would increase the use of resources and crowd our streets with more traffic. We would lose our yards and living spaces. It is a horrible law and needs to be reversed! What is wrong with those officials in Sacramento? Do any of them even think about the repercussions of their votes???

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