Granny flat
A “granny flat” is a type of accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Image from Companion Unit Handbook

The Board of Supervisors Wednesday voted unanimously to update a housing zoning ordinance to align the county with state laws.

According to the Land Use and Environment Group, the update “(complements) other ways the county is supporting housing production, including its innovative neighborhood planning efforts, improvements to its approval process and the assessment of available land, and the infrastructure needed to support housing in unincorporated communities.”

Passed by the state Legislature over the past five years, the 21 laws range from finding housing for homeless people to accessory dwelling units.

Some state laws allow ADUs in more places, allow property owners to subdivide their lots or ease the process for mid-sized, multifamily housing developments, according to the county.

The county Planning Commission in February recommended board approval of the updated zoning ordinance.

Board Chairwoman Nora Vargas said the state has passed laws with a goal of creating more affordable housing.

Vargas said people of good will may want homes built immediately for those in need, but “unfortunately that’s not how the world works.”

She added that it is “really important for our legislators to create a framework for us to be able to address the needs of our region.”

Supervisor Jim Desmond agreed it was important for the county to be in accordance with state law, which in turn offers opportunities for housing.

However, Desmond added that while government regulations may have good intentions, they have also led to the San Diego region’s current housing crisis.

“At some point, we gotta push back at some of these ‘one size fits all’ policies that we get from the state,” Desmond said.

Desmond also said his constituents are troubled by the allowance of low-barrier navigation centers, a type of homeless shelter, being allowed in commercial zones in unincorporated areas.

City News Service contributed to this article.