The City of Rancho Cordova is currently considering changing zoning code in a way that would essentially do away with garage conversions. Basically, the new code would allow a garage conversion only if the property owner built another garage somewhere else on the parcel (which effectively means nearly all properties will not qualify for a conversion). The slide below is from a presentation on May 24, 2011 at a council work session. See the entire slideshow here.
The main reason for this conversation and potential change is about curbing blight in neighborhoods since garage conversions often contribute to a decline in property value. However, while it’s true that an individual property usually sells for less when the garage is converted, the real question is whether a garage conversion on a street results in other properties losing value. How much market weight does one conversion have for an entire street or tract?
Questions: Do you think garage conversions contribute to blight? How so? Is this a good move to help increase property values? Where is line between what a city can do to boost real estate values and the rights of residents? What blight issues make the most negative impact on value in a neighborhood? Are you aware of other cities or areas where conversions are illegal? Would making conversions illegal be a negative factor in the eyes of buyers? I’d be curious to hear your constructive thoughts below.
NOTE: I will update this post at some point to let you know what is decided on the issue. Again, this is only conversation among City Council right now.