State of California passes law to encourage residents to build accessory housing, local building fees apply

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The road fees were implemented by Madera County to pay for road improvements. (KFSN)

A Madera County family wants to build a small less than 500 square foot accessory house next to their home, for their daughter to stay in so she can look after her aging mother.

Linda Dineen drew up the plans for the $60,000 home but was shocked to see the price tag for the county fees.

"$15,538-- $10,500 of that is what they call road impact fee," said Dineen.

The road fees were implemented by Madera County to pay for road improvements. Every new, separate housing structure must pay no matter the size.

"It is out of proportion and out of reach for most people to pay," said Dineen.

Dineen brought her complaints to the Madera County Board of Supervisors this week. Board Chairman Tom Wheeler was listening. He says the supervisors are asking staff to look at options.

"Changing our ordinance to see if there's any way we can look at tiered road fee, impact fee for different square footage of homes. So what they will do is look at it and come back at a later date and see if it's feasible or not," said Wheeler.

The State of California has passed laws urging cities and counties to ease restrictions on accessory housing, but the laws allow the fees to remain. Dineen says it needs to change.

"We have an aging population and there is going to be more and more need for small, studios or structures that aging and elderly parents ill parents can be cared for by their children, whether they stay there or their children stay there to take care of them," said Dineen.
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