Legal Question in Construction Law in California

I bought house with a converted garage not permitted "as is", now I am trying to get it permitted and I am running into some extreme codes, mandates and regulations in Tehachapi, Calif. A less than 400 sq ft studio garage conversion, they are say I must get solar, and other very expensive things as if it is a new build but the garage was converted a couple of years ago. It was just a conversion when it was done by prior owner a few years ago, not a new build. How can I get out from under these mandates? I am a senior, never old a home and low income, HELP! a friend in Santa Cruz added an adu and was not required to get solar.

Asked on 12/08/22, 5:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gary Redenbacher Redenbacher & Brown, LLP

It's hard to answer this without a better understanding of many more facts but I have a couple of suggestions. First, you can ask the building official to invoke Health & Safety Code 17958.12 which was enacted a few years ago. This code gives the building official discretion to allow a remodel to be built under the code then in effect when the building was first constructed with some limitations. The second suggestion is to permit it as an ADU. State law has mandated that jurisdictions allow ADU's under much more lenient terms. Again, there are some limitations but you may find that building it out as an ADU is easier than just legalizing what is currently there.

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Answered on 12/08/22, 8:18 pm

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