Are Granny Flats the Future of Ocean Beach and Point Loma?

by on June 25, 2018 · 2 comments

in Ocean Beach

Are so-called “granny flats” the future of Ocean Beach and of Point Loma?

It certainly appears to be so – at least for OB, given what happened at the last meeting of the OB Planning Board’s Project Review Committee. Wednesday night, June  20, the sub-committee of the full Board sent recommendations for approval for three granny flats in Ocean Beach. The full Board will meet in August to make the final determinations of approval (the Board is dark Wed, July 4).

Granny flats – also known as secondary units, backyard cottages, or ADUs – accessory dwelling units – have become all the rage now because California has just recently changed the laws surrounding the building of ADUs, making it easier, requiring less fees and dropping parking requirements. Some housing advocates, planning panels – and many construction companies – see them as a panacea for the state’s housing crisis.

Essentially, the state has mandated that if a proposed secondary unit meets certain requirements, than a city or volunteer planning board must allow it.

And this is what happened last week when the OB Planning Board sub-committee heard proposals for granny flats at 4629 Coronado Avenue, 4828 Long Branch Avenue and 4741 Brighton Avenue. They approved them all – in other words, voted to recommend approval to the full Board.

4629 Coronado Ave

The Project Review committee approved for recommendation this Coastal Development Permit to build a 1,198 square foot 2-story, companion unit, over a 330 square-foot garage. It’s 0.12 acre site with an existing 1,244 square foot dwelling unit at the front end. The ADU will have 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, with storage and parking on the sloped ground level. No additional parking requirement is legally called for as the property meets one of the exceptions – it’s within a public transit area, the #23 bus on Orchard and Ebers. The height is 29 feet.

The panel voted 6 to 0 for an approval recommendation.

4629 Coronado – on the left; check out the view the conversion will enjoy.

4828 Long Branch

The Project Review Committee also approved for recommendation a CDP for a 750 square foot, one-story addition and conversion of an existing garage to a single family dwelling unit.

Drawing of view of side of conversion.

There’s already one residence on the lot.

Front of new building – from street.

The owner plans to take down part of the original garage and alter and convert it into 2 bedrooms and 2 baths.

Here’s what 4828 Long Branch looks now, prior to construction.

It will only be 16 feet in height, and there will be 2 parking spaces back off the alley in a closed garage.

When asked of what his intentions were, the owner – who has owned the property for a year – told the planners he probably would sell it, depending on the market. The panel voted 6 to nothing to send it to the full board for approval.



4741 Brighton

The PRC approved a recommendation for the CDP for 4741 Brighton – for the construction of a 699 square foot companion unit / granny flat above a new 3-car garage – to be built after the demolition of an existing garage. Tim Wilson, the owner, has had the property in his family since 1973. The original house was built in 1926. Time and Virginia told the board panel they’d agree to place a deed restriction disallowing short term vacation rentals.

It was approved for recommendation by a vote of 6 to zip.

The full board meets again in August and will consider these projects then.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page June 25, 2018 at 3:25 pm

This is de facto rezoning of our single family neighborhoods folks. This will be a disaster for our community and it will not solve the housing problem.


triggerfinger June 26, 2018 at 11:51 am

“When asked of what his intentions were, the owner – who has owned the property for a year – told the planners he probably would sell it, depending on the market. ”

Bullshit! The owners have been working all year to remodel and develop this property to list it on VRBO.


Leave a Comment

Older Article:

Newer Article: