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Adding a backyard home in Los Angeles is now nearly as easy as buying a barbecue.

Homeowners who for years have wanted to build a granny flat in their backyard, but dreaded the red tape, can now choose from 20 pre-designed homes that the city has already approved for use.

The shift, made official last week, will speed up a weeks-long process and bring more badly needed units to an overpriced market. It also has the potential to elevate the 14 startups and firms building the next generation of homes.

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