A diagram of a 750 square-foot detached ADU
In 2016, DC enacted a host of revisions to the zoning code, some of which were intended to make it easier for homeowners to add accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to their properties. Now, Arlington County is expected to pass an ordinance that would also encourage creation of ADUs.
At the end of November, the Arlington County Board will consider an update to the county’s zoning regulations that would broaden homeowners’ opportunity to add accessory dwellings. The recommended amendments would remove the annual limit on new accessory dwellings (currently 28) in the county, remove the minimum lot size requirements for ADU construction, and allow by-right detached accessory dwellings that adhere to the maximum footprint and height allowed for accessory buildings.
If the ordinance is passed, detached accessory dwellings and family caregiver suites could be constructed to a maximum of 35 percent of the combined floor area of the suite combined with the floor area of the main dwelling, up to a maximum of 750 square feet. The entrances to the main dwelling and the accessory unit could be located on the same side of the house as long as the entrances don’t face the same direction. Accessory dwellings could also require a deed covenant and could only be constructed on lots that are otherwise owner-occupied. Any off-street parking spaces would need to be preserved.
Accessory dwellings were first legalized in the county in 2008 and the strict regulations surrounding their legalization have led to only 20 being constructed since that time (construction peaked in 2015 when 6 were built). In 2015, the County Board passed an Affordable Housing Master Plan that identified ADUs as an opportunity to expand affordable housing options — particularly where older adults are concerned.
“The [Affordable Housing Master] Plan’s implementation framework recommended that the Zoning Ordinance regulations be revised to encourage greater opportunities for accessory dwellings, and the County Board directed staff to study accessory dwelling adjustments as one of the priority items in implementing the Plan,” the Board’s staff report reads.
While the Board will likely debate the particulars, it is expected that conversions of existing accessory buildings into ADUs will be allowed by-right. It is also possible that the square footage limit for accessory dwellings wholly within a basement will be removed entirely. If passed, the new regulations would take effect on January 1, 2018.
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/arlington_county_expected_to_expand_accessory_dwelling_regulations/13248.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
In this edition of First-Timer Primer, we look into the question of how to determine ... read »
A Roth IRA is one of those accounts that people feel is totally off limits until you ... read »
The now-historic Uptown Theater; the coming plans for the Landmark Mall; and the high... read »
UrbanTurf Listings is a premium property listings service that showcases some of the ... read »
Long-term mortgage rates dropped this week, hitting pause on the steady ascent that t... read »
UrbanTurf has compiled virtual looks at large new developments around the DC region.... read »
Why condo fees are high in some buildings and low in others can be a difficult questi... read »
Virginia's homebuyer assistance programs can seem complex. This edition of First-Time... read »
When sellers haven't quite lined up their next house before their settlement date com... read »
The preferred mortgage product among most home buyers is the fixed-rate mortgage. How... read »
With this weekend's DC houseboat tour a day away, UrbanTurf thought it only fitting t... read »
President Obama travels to Denver this morning to sign the stimulus bill that has bee... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader wonders if there is a rule for h... read »
As The Wharf prepares to begin construction, DC's houseboat community heads to its ne... read »
In this week's installment of Ask An Agent, a reader asks a fairly common question th... read »
DC Real Estate Guides
Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market
We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!
Intro guides for first-time home buyers
Awesome and unusual real estate from across the DC Metro