Accessory Dwelling Units

The Council is considering changes to the City’s Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations. ADUs are small apartments that share a lot with a single-family home.

ADUs can be:

  1. entirely separate buildings,
  2. basement apartments, or
  3. above and inside garages.
Accessory Dwelling Units

Currently, the only properties eligible for new, legal ADUs are those located ½-mile or less from a fixed transit stop for Front Runner, TRAX or the S-Line. The current rules have significantly restricted the number of eligible properties. In fact, only one ADU permit has been granted by the City since 2012.

The updated proposal (as of 10/17/2017)  would make this ordinance citywide, but specialized boundaries instead of citywide are also still being considered. The Council has requested additional information on reviewing the overall effects of the proposal.

During their September 5 meeting, the Council requested some changes to the original proposal including:

  • ADUs will be allowed Citywide. (thought still an annual limit of 25 per year will be allowed)
  • Administrative review process that includes a 30 day notification of proposed ADUs to abutting property owners (including across the street).
  • Council asked for reporting requirements to be included so the City can adequately track how ADUs are impacting neighborhoods, where they are being built, so that future changes could be made if needed.
  • More information was requested on how the owner occupied requirement effects properties owned by Trusts and how enforcement issues will be addressed

The Council held a public hearing on October 3. Several people addressed the Council, expressing a variety of opinions both for and against the proposal. Some were concerned about parking and traffic, while others were supportive of increasing the City’s housing stock in established neighborhoods.

The Council wants to hear from you!

Provide your feedback on this topic online at Open City Hall, by phone, or email.

Additional Information