Depending on who you ask, Montgomery County took a major step toward single-family houses becoming an endangered class of real estate on Tuesday.
The County Council unanimously approved a bill which amends some of the restrictions surrounding accessory apartments. Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-01 would allow for basement accessory apartments in the county as well as detached accessory buildings in six of the seven sections of the county that are zoned as “residential detached” while removing the one-acre lot minimum requirement for these properties.
The amendment grandfathers in any accessory building constructed before May 31, 2012 and permits the homeowner to live on the premises in either the home or the ADU. ZTA 19-01 also codifies several technical changes:
- It removes the maximum size of basement or cellar ADUs in homes larger than 1,200 square feet.
- It permits detached ADUs that are the smallest of 1) 1,200 square feet 2) 10 percent of the lot size or 3) half the footprint of the principal house.
- It removes the requirement that the primary dwelling be at least five years old.
- It removes the required distance between ADUs.
- It removes the requirement for an additional parking space when the ADU is either in Takoma Park or is less than one mile from a Metrorail, Purple Line or MARC station.
- It allows conversion of any legally built existing structure into an ADU.
- It confirms that owners are not allowed to rent ADUs on a short-term basis.
Since the bill was introduced in January, a persistent cohort of county residents have demonstrated against it, citing fears of a campaign against single-family zoning and making thinly-veiled inflammatory statements about how ADUs would change the character of their neighborhoods. The county executive has also come out against ADUs, expressing in a report "fears that ZTA 19-01 would add sprawling density in areas of the County that are not well served by transit."
"ADUs are a part of the Council’s continuing efforts to ensure that affordable, quality housing is available to residents at all income levels," a council statement announcing the vote reads. "While these units alone will certainly not solve the housing crisis, they do fill an important gap and can be paired with existing rental subsidy and other potential subsidy programs to reach an even deeper level of affordability."
The changes are expected to take effect on December 31st in concert with another ADU bill dealing with licensing. A hearing on the latter bill will take place in September.
Thumbnail image from a new ADU in DC's 16th Street Heights neighborhood.
See other articles related to: accessory apartments, accessory buildings, accessory dwelling units, accessory dwellings, adu, montgomery county, montgomery county council, single-family zoning, zoning, zoning changes, zoning code, zoning text amendment
This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/why-there-could-be-a-lot-more-accessory-dwellings-coming/15695.
Most Popular... This Week • Last 30 Days • Ever
The development for four parcels at The Yards from Brookfield Properties and the Menk... read »
Plans for the New York-based eatery appear to be moving forward.... read »
EDENS filed a planned unit development for a two-building residential development tha... read »
One of the more prominent features of the project will be a public plaza that will ru... read »
Foxhall is a DC neighborhood bordered by Reservoir Road, Foxhall Road, Glover Park, a... read »
To help home buyers and sellers both novice and seasoned, UrbanTurf is running a seri... read »
As home buyers get the itch to look for a home and start to venture out to open house... read »
The development will replace the 44,700 square-foot retail structure that was previou... read »
The concept includes 14 lanes for bowling, a 1,200 person concert venue, a craft bar ... read »
The zip codes that are home to Brentwood, Takoma Park and sections of Hyattsville top... 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