Thursday, December 07, 2006

What the Heck is a “Granny Flat”?

You’ve heard of the mother-in-law apartment --- that extra room with a hotplate located at the furthest end or deepest bowels of the house reserved for the “extended family” or that youngster who wants to be independent while still living at home. On Martha’s Vineyard, where space is at a premium and any space notoriously becomes a sleeping space, for many years we’ve embraced the concept of the auxiliary self-sufficient apartment or separate guest house. Actually, zoning laws were a lot more liberal in the past than they are today, so it’s not always possible to get approval for a guest house. The towns figured out a guest house or separate apartment quite often is occupied by non-family members and is income producing. Is that so bad?

Today, resourceful Vineyarders are getting around the tightening restrictions if they're not allowed to legally create a functioning apartment or build a guest house, by finishing the area above a garage with what is loosely called a detached bedroom. It appears we’re ahead of the curve because (Click here to view >) The Apartment Atop the Garage Is Back in Vogue.

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