CAA-sponsored micro-apartments bill reaches Gov. Brown’s desk

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A CAA-sponsored bill that would boost construction of micro apartments and help put a dent in California’s housing shortage won unanimous approval in the Legislature this week and now awaits the signature of Gov. Jerry Brown.

Assemblyman Miguel Santiago

The bill, AB 352 by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, D-Los Angeles, would help prevent local governments from establishing roadblocks to “efficiency dwelling units,” which usually measure 220 square feet or less.

“Due to their small size, they are affordable by design,” CAA writes of these apartments in a letter supporting the bill. “They help reduce sprawl because more housing units can be built within existing communities close to jobs and universities and urban centers served by public transportation.”

While many cities understand the importance of efficiency units, some cities, faced with community opposition, have enacted road blocks to this type of affordable housing. Some cities have forced larger square footage requirements per unit, lowered the density per parcel, or capped the number of efficiency units that can be built.

Under AB 352, local governments could not establish square-footage requirements for efficiency units higher than those provided in current codes. It also would prohibit local governments from limiting the number of efficiency units built near public transit, car-share vehicles or a University of California or California State University campus.

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