Letter From Karen Petersen

Just read your recent article about housing and the mention that the state has made granny units easier. Technically that may be true, but realistically the burdens still far outweigh the benefits. I have spent the last two months researching building a granny unit in my back yard here in Campbell, California. My husband and I have a nearly 13,000 square-foot lot with the large open space backyard, perfect for a secondary dwelling unit. However, after checking with every utility company and the city regarding policies and permits, I soon realized I need to come up with roughly 35K (possibly more) before I even begin working with a contractor. The only noticeable change my city made in regards to the new ordinance is in regards to the size of unit I am allowed to build changed from 640 to 900 ft.², and the strict parking restrictions went away. However, the utility requirements set by the city, plus all their fees is still making it quite difficult for people to consider a backyard unit.