Articles

Sanitary District approves temporary moratorium on second units

Perry Van Houten, Ojai Valley News reporter
Ojai Valley Sanitary District (OVSD) officials have imposed a temporary moratorium on permitting secondary or accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
The moratorium, approved Jan. 22, will allow OVSD staff and legal counsel time to evaluate how recent California laws aimed at addressing the state's housing shortage crisis affect and interact with  the District's regulations for these units, sometimes referred to as “granny flats.”
The vote was 5-0 in favor of enacting the moratorium, with director William Ulrich abstaining and director Randy Burg absent.
SB 229, by Sen. Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), went into effect Jan. 1 and directly prohibits special districts such as OVSD from charging connection fees or capacity charges on ADUs within an existing single-family residence or accessory structure.
It also limited a district's ability to charge connection fees or capacity charges on other ADUs built from the ground up.
“It seems like a simple law of everybody gets to build an ADU and there's no fee,” said Jeff Palmer, OVSD general manager. “It's not that simple. It's tremendously complicated.”
Palmer told the Board there are significant pitfalls in the legal issues and “many flavors” of compliance with the regulation.
“It's not just about housing, it's about water quality, it's about water availability, it's about traffic, it's about all kinds of things here locally in Ventura County and the Ojai Valley.”

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