Posted by: Patricia Salkin | November 27, 2010

NY Enacts Law Directing Preparation of Model Local Zoning Guidelines for Granny Flats

In August 2010, Governor Paterson signed A.3397/S.4981, amending Section 2020 of the Elder Law directing the State to develop model planning and zoning guidelines for communities to create compact, mixed-use senior housing and residential accessory dwelling units, called “granny flats.”  The new law also directs the State Office of Aging to recommend mixed-use-age-integrated housing or redevelopment demonstration projects in urban, suburban and rural areas of the state. 

The sponsor’s memo accompanying the bill explains:   

Affordable and accessible housing continue to be a primary concern and a top priority for senior citizens and for senior advocates.  Despite the knowledge of a growing population of seniors over the next decade, finding housing that is suitable and affordable in communities throughout the state continue to be a challenge.  Much of today’s senior housing is single purpose in design and targeted to specific subpopulations, effectively segregating those subgroups.  Many suburban communities were designed for young families and they rely heavily on the use of the automobile and isolate those with mobility impairments.  Communities in many states are changing their zoning to create mixed-use-age-integrated communities that integrate businesses with services with different generations that do not rely on vehicle.  There is an opportunity for New York to look at developing more communities that look like this to build smart, to control sprawl, and to revitalize downtowns and other areas where real estate may not be available or communities would like to redesign to meet their community needs.  This legislation directs the state to develop model zoning guidelines that would be available to communities who wish to use this model and to encourage integration, not isolation. 

Ch. 319 of the NY Laws of 2010 (8/13/2010)

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