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Want to convert a garage or build a tiny home in your backyard? It’s now easier

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Homeowners seeking to add a secondary dwelling on their property are finding it easier to do so, thanks to some changes in state law and city zoning codes that were adopted as a way to address the state’s housing crisis.

Secondary dwellings and other forms of independent living units, now both called “accessory dwelling units” or ADUs, are either detached or attached to a primary residential structure and provide permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation. ADUs can also provide supplemental income to the property owner.

“Most (ADUs) are ‘in-law’ type units designed for additional older family members who would be living in the residence,” Citrus Heights Associate City Planner Alison Bermudez told The Sentinel.

“We’ve seen at least a dozen permits issued so far since the program began,” Bermudez said, compared with an average of less than one per year prior the city’s ordinance changing a year-and-a-half ago. “We’re likely to see more applicants as residents learn more about the ordinance and what it allows…”

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Kelsee's Purse, Citrus Heights

Citrus Heights woman opens new thrift shop ministry to help homeless

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
Citrus Heights is now home to a nonprofit clothing ministry called Kelsee’s Purse, thanks to the work of a young Romanian-American émigré. Ildi Ayers says she’s proud to make a modest difference in the quality of life of the city’s homeless community, one life at a time.

Her new store opened late last year at 7044 Sunrise Blvd. and is named in recognition of a young, homeless woman named Kelsee, who Ayers befriended on the streets of Citrus Heights.

“Kelsee had become unexpectedly homeless and was learning how difficult it often is to survive day-to-day,” Ayers told The Sentinel in an interview earlier this week. “She welcomed our church’s ministry support to help her get off the street and appreciated the basic toiletries, clothing and personal items we were able to give her.”

The Kelsee’s Purse retail store is incorporated as a nonprofit ministry of…

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Bearpaw, Linden Plaza

Bearpaw buys up two more commercial plazas on Auburn Blvd; here’s why

Sentinel staff report–
Bearpaw, a global footwear company based in Citrus Heights, is expanding its footprint in town with its real estate division recently acquiring two more commercial plazas along Auburn Boulevard. The latest move brings Bearpaw’s total up to seven commercial properties owned along the Boulevard — part of the company’s plans to be part of the revitalization of the boulevard.

“I believe in the Auburn corridor. I think it’s gonna come back,” said Bearpaw founder and CEO Tom Romeo in a phone interview last week. “It’s been blight for a long time and it needs some TLC.”

Romeo told The Sentinel on Friday that the latest purchases were made through Bearpaw Equities, the real estate branch of parent company Bearpaw Holdings. Purchases included Linden Plaza, located at 8500 Auburn Blvd. across from where a Studio Movie Grill is planned for the old Kmart building, and a commercial plaza located across from Bible Baptist Church at 7616-7628 Auburn Blvd.

He said Linden Plaza is fully leased and home to Golden Donuts, a bike shop, and several other businesses. The other…

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