NewsPrice of Paradise


San Luis Obispo City Council members look to ease restrictions on granny flats

Posted at 6:50 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-17 14:54:10-05

In an effort to get in line with new state laws, San Luis Obispo city officials say changes need to be made to the current regulations for accessory dwelling units or ADUs.

"Properties that are not owner occupied can now have accessory dwelling units where the city's ordinance used to require that, as well as opening these accessory dwelling units to non-single family properties,” said Kyle Van Leeuwen, City of San Luis Obispo Assistant Planner.

City leaders say the hope is that easing regulations will result in more housing options for San Luis Obispo.

"We do have a need for increased rental stock here in the city so this will help the availability of rentals and potentially increase our housing stock,” Van Leeuwen said.

A real estate broker in San Luis Obispo says while additional ADUs could help add housing, there's still plenty of work to be done.

"It's absolutely putting a band-aid on the problem,” said Robert Mariani, Mariani Real Estate broker.

Building accessory dwelling units could be profitable for property owners, but Mariani doesn't expect more granny flats around town will equal lower prices.

"We have a shortage of affordable living here. With that said, even if there are more rentals, I don't see affecting the prices that much,” Mariani said.

The city says there has been interest from property owners around Cal Poly to build accessory dwelling units. However, under current city rules, owners who rent out their homes and don't live on site were blocked from doing so.

If these proposed regulations are passed, granny flats could soon be more of a living option for students and locals around campus.

The number of ADUs expected to be permitted over the next several years is between 30 and 50 units per year, spread throughout the city.

The city council is set to make a decision on this item during Tuesday’s meeting.

We all know the cost of living is high on the Central Coast. Here at KSBY, we're committed to addressing these challenges, and we want to hear from you. What are the issues that concern you when it comes to the Price of Paradise here on the Central Coast? Email us at or message us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.