Bob Edgren for Capitola City Council
Proposal for Affordable Housing in Capitola
This concept would replace the prevailing concept of building separate “granny units”, by creating attached or structure inclusive units.
Capitola neighborhoods have been for some time evolving into “vacant second home or investment homes”. This is common in areas like Carmel where 45 percent of the homes remain vacant most of the year. And as in Carmel, many people have opted to tear down their original bungalow house and replace it with a 2000 to 3000 square foot structure. As one drives through Capitola neighborhoods, it is quite common to see these larger houses that have replaced smaller cottages and houses. Some areas are beginning to create “ghost town” appearance with rows of uninhabited houses.
What I propose is to allow owners of these properties to take a portion of their house, and convert that into a studio or one bedroom units. By taking a 300 to 400 sq. ft. area for instance and making it into a completely separate unit, one is solving a couple issues. First, it is creating an affordable rental unit. It is providing the owner with some income. It is providing the owner with a presence at their house for security. It helps eliminate the vacant look of an area of empty houses.
Such units should not be within the vacation or transient overlay area unless they are permitted only for long term use. The concept is to generate affordable long term housing. There should be little or no problem with parking. Most structures have a single or double drive way that again can service the new studio tenant.
This idea is not a fit for everyone. But if say 300 owners opt to do this, then the City has created 300 affordable units.