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Mission Canyon Neighbors Battle Granny Flat from Hell

Criminal Charges Brought Against Scofflaw Builder

Criminal charges have been filed against the developer of two proposed granny flats, a k a accessory dwelling units (ADUs), on Arriba Way in Mission Canyon after the developer, Gregory Patronyk, continued work on his two additions after being ordered to stop by a Santa Barbara judge and city zoning enforcement officers. Patronyk’s neighbors have been bombarding city councilmembers with complaints and showing up en masse at City Council meetings to voice their complaints. (Full disclosure: Independent editor Tyler Hayden is a neighbor affected by the ADU.)

The new granny flats ​— ​they contend ​— ​cast an overwhelming shadow over their backyards, invading their privacy. Patronyk, they objected, lied on his application forms, claiming both residences as his primary residence at the same time. Such permits are not eligible for people not living on the premises.

Worse yet, they claim, he’s gouged out a massive amount of soil, creating a new landscape in the process that resembles that of a gnawed-out mine. To move that quantity of dirt, it appears, Petronyk should have been required to obtain additional permits.

Under new state law designed to promote the development of new housing, local governments were all but stripped of any regulatory control over the development of granny flats, or ADUs. To date, 494 applications for granny flats have been submitted to City Hall for processing; 289 permits have been issued, and 121 are under review. Only a handful have been denied. And 36 are the subject of enforcement actions. In a written statement, Petronyk replied that he had complied with “all applicable laws” and has acted “in an open and transparent manner with the city.” He and his family, he stated, have “suffered many personal hurtful attacks and harassment by several persons in the area,” including, he added, “vandalism against us.”   

Criminal charges were brought by the Santa Barbara City Attorney’s office and the case goes to trial next week. A civil matter is pending.

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