Sunrise Club member, Jake McKee, spoke to the club on issues near and dear to his heart.
Sunrise Club member, Jake McKee, spoke to the club on issues near and dear to his heart. Jake is a land-use consultant and spoke specifically to the club about issues relating to land-use, in particular as they pertain to accessory dwellings, vacation rentals, Junior accessory dwellings and guest houses.
Jake works with individuals and businesses to help them through the processes of developing plans for additions to their properties or businesses. He spends a great deal of his time reading municipal codes, as well as staying abreast of state, county and to some degree federal regulations on land use.
Regulations vary greatly from area to area and before any improvement or addition can be added to an existing property, multiple reviews of its proposed use must be correlated with regulations covering such use.
A guesthouse is an addition to an existing property that may be detached. The restrictions on guest houses are that they may contain no kitchen, they cannot be rented, and they cannot be greater than 640 ft.² in area.
Accessory dwellings, in contrast, can be up to 1000 ft.² (although they can never exceed 50% of the square footage of the main housing on the property), may have kitchens and until recently they could be rented as vacation rentals.
Up until January 17, 2017 the fees associated with either of these structures were prohibitively expensive, averaging approximately $20,000 in Healdsburg. Assembly Bill 1069 removed most of these restrictions and brought the price of permitting into a more reasonable realm. Notably, they eliminated the need for additional parking requirements. Part of the intent of AB 1060 was to increase the amount of housing, possibly affordable housing, available throughout California.
A junior accessory dwelling unit must exist within a primary structure but may have a separate kitchen and bathroom. The maximum square footage allowable for this type of addition is 240 ft.².
There is a category of home usage called a hosted rental. Regulations on this are that the occupancy be less than 30 days and that the owner must be in the property while it is being rented.
Currently, only primary residences can be used as vacation rentals, no accessory structures are to be rented as vacation rentals by owner. Vacation rental is defined as an occupancy of up to 30 days.
Jake also spoke about marijuana and land-use restrictions that relate to it. This matter is constantly in front of the local jurisdictions as they grapple with ways to confine the growing to certain areas. The "skunk factor" associated with growth of this particular plant make it undesirable in residential neighborhoods. The regulations regarding commercial growing of marijuana are in a constant state of flux not only because of the physical factors associated with its production but also because of the need to develop a taxation mechanism for it.
Jake answered many questions about home conversions and additions as well as ways of dealing with marijuana intrusion into neighborhoods.