Home Ownership in 90620>Question Details

Lorinda Pete…, Home Buyer in Buena Park, CA

Can an Existing unpermitted addition be Grandfatherd in, if built over 55 years ago?

Asked by Lorinda Peterson, Buena Park, CA Tue Oct 1, 2013

My house has a 350 sq mother in law quarters (kitchen & bedroom) attached to our detached garage. Its not built in the garage, but attached just the left of it. They share a common wall. I was told it was build a year after the original house was built, 1955, so its grandfathered in. What does that mean? I have no proof when it was built. My goal is to do the right thing and get it permitted and put in a bathroom. To get it permitted would I have to tear it down and rebuild or can they just look at it and permit if its to code? I need some advise before I open this can of worms. Please help!!

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Lorinda, I live in Buena Park and go to City Hall all the time. You have a tricky situation. The best advice was given by Lance King-Founder. Just go in one day and sign in to the planning dept and ask to speak to a planner. Your best bet is to talk to the head planner Jay Saltzberg. You can even call ahead and make an appointment. Or maybe try emailing him at jsaltzberg@buenapark.com.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
I would approach the city (or county) that has jurisdiction over this and give them the outline of what you are trying to do without giving them the address so you can get an idea what you are up against before deciding how to proceed. Every city//county is different and there is often some subjectivity.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
Good advice.
Flag Tue Oct 1, 2013
Yes, the best thing to do is to talk with the building dept. By making any additions you may have to update it to the codes they have now.. Talk to the city and if not satisfied, talk with an attorney they will give you the best advice..

Ingrid Ski Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
In most cases unless it is zoned for two units most cities do not allow a kitchen or bathroom. If it is zoned for two units, that would be better. If it was built to code it would be the code of 1955, there may be different codes now. For example they would have to open the walls to look at the electrical to see if it meets the codes of today's standards. You can go to the city and just ask general questions to see if you will have any issues you are not prepared to deal with. I would be happy to work with you if you would like to figure this out as I am not too far rom Buena Park as I live in Cypress.

If you would like me to help, just give me a cll at 714-296-7270. I have been doing real estate for 30+ years.

Barbara Robbins-Olexa, Broker
L B Brokerage
BRE Lic#797560
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
Hi Lorinda,

Best thing to do is contact the building department for the city of Buena Park and ask, but sometimes they are less than helpful.

I have access to title and could look up what shows on the title report and let you know. With that information you can contact building department with a bit of research and you may be treated more fairly since you have more details for that department. Just send address to me and I will check for you.


Bill Villa Broker/President
Villa Realty, Inc.
DRE #01758821
(888( 351-4264
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 1, 2013
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