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LA Releases Pre-Approved Designs To Make Backyard 'Granny Flats' Easier To Build

One of two pre-approved modular designs by Connect Homes in the Standard Plan Program. (Courtesy Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety)
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The city of Los Angeles has launched a program designed to make backyard "granny flats," or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), easier to build.

The new ADU Standard Plan Program aims to simplify the process by offering homeowners and builders access to 20 preapproved designs.

Mayor Eric Garcetti says those units are critical to increasing the city's housing supply, but the permitting process can take weeks, months, or even years in some parts of L.A. city and county.

Dana Cuff is director of UCLA's City Lab and helped co-author a 2017 bill that made it easier to build ADUs in California. She says these backyard units are a good solution "if we're trying in Los Angeles to produce as much housing that fits within our existing communities as possible, and that's affordable and accessible to a wider population." She added:

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"This also shows that they can be well designed."

The designs range from a Mission Revival-style cottage and flower-shaped pavilion to more simple structures with small footprints.


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