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Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are second, smaller dwelling units either developed within an existing single family house (such as a basement, attic, or addition) or as part of an accessory structure (such as a converted garage).  ADUs can provide a new housing prototype that could impact affordability in two ways:  (a) For a potential renter, the small unit size usually results in lower rents; (b) For the owner, affordability can be achieved through the provision of rental income, in particular for those on fixed incomes.  We advocated for a number of changes to the zoning ordinance, attending meetings to learn more about the issue and sending a letter to the City Council and Mayor expressing our support.  Some of the changes were (a) including a deed restriction prior to occupancy to guarantee the owner-occupied requirement and to ensure that a secondary unit cannot be sold separately; (b) limiting the size to a maximum of 600 square feet; (c) allowing rent to be charged; (d) not requiring occupancy to be limited to family; (e) requiring 1 additional off-street space if not within 1/4 mile of a bus stop; (f) subjecting all ADUs to rental inspections; and (g) requiring a minimum lease of 30 days to avoid units being used as B&Bs.

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