While I’m not against all accessory dwelling units, the City Council must carefully consider the repercussions of modifying the ADU requirements.
Increasing the square footage from 750 to 900, combined with the removal of owner occupation is a de-facto elimination of all single-family zoning. It will decimate the character of Albany’s existing single-family neighborhoods, historic or not.
An increase of ADU size from 750 to 900 square feet changes the equation from a granny flat or in-law unit into a second house of at least 2 bedrooms. Combine this with the fact that buildable land is becoming increasingly expensive and outside developers are going to be more than eager to buy existing single-family properties to turn into multi-family for profit. Then they flip and resell and run. It will also allow out of state landlords to add ADUs to rental houses. They make their quick buck without ever caring about how it will affect the neighborhood, because it's not their neighborhood. Given the ever-rising price of bare land, this will become irresistible low-hanging fruit for “investors”.
Owner-occupation stops outside flippers and real estate tycoons.
Owner-occupation means that when ADUs are built, they are built by those who are going to live on the property. Yes, later on when the owner sells it may become two rental units. But the owner-occupation requirement will greatly reduce abuse of the system by developers and real-estate agents.
Albany (Jan. 7)