Accessory Structures (TC-18-21)
Accessory Structures (TC-18-21)
Accessory Structures (TC-18-21): This text change proposes amending the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) to modify development standards for accessory structures, remove the prohibition on variances to the accessory structure regulations, and consolidate allowable setback encroachments for certain building features and other minor improvements. Read the draft ordinance.
The accessory structure regulations for detached, attached and tiny houses were last modified in 2019. At that time, the goal was to create more prescriptive and predictable development standards concerning building size, building height, and setbacks. Since that time, numerous text changes have been passed which allow for smaller structures, smaller lots, and reduced setbacks. In 2020, a text change was passed which granted the ability to construct a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on most residentially zoned lots. At present, ADU’s are permitted reduced setbacks in comparison to other types of accessory structures. This has created issues particularly when the two types of structures are attached. In addition, ADU’s can be constructed with building features (such as decks and porches) that encroach into required setbacks, while accessory structures cannot. This text change is designed to alleviate these issues and simplify the applicable regulations.
Current regulations impose stringent maximum floor area and building footprint standards for accessory structures. Larger lots are permitted larger accessory structures, but in no instance can an accessory structure be greater than 1,200 square feet in size. For lots less than one-quarter acre in size, accessory structures are limited to 600 square feet in size. Similarly, the maximum building footprint of an accessory structure is also limited to 50% of the rear yard area or 75% of the principal building footprint, whichever is smaller. Last, accessory structure setbacks are dictated based on the height on the height of the building, but in no instance can an accessory structure be less than 10 feet from a side or rear property line.
By comparison, for lots between 4,000 and 39,999 square feet, detached ADUs are permitted to be a maximum of 800 square feet in size. In these instances, ADUs may be located 5 feet from a side or rear property line. An ADU may be 26 feet in height without any impact on required setbacks. Furthermore, there is no maximum building footprint limitation.
Proposed Text Change:
Under the proposed text change, the setback standards for accessory structures and ADUs would be unified based upon lot size. The maximum floor area for accessory structures would be set in proportion to the size of the principal building, while the maximum floor area for ADUs would remain the same. Last, accessory structures and ADUs would be permitted the same setback encroachments for certain building features.
Public Meeting Schedule:
This text change is scheduled for a Planning Commission meeting in June. We will be collecting comments here through June 20. Comments after this date should be submitted directly to Keegan McDonald via email.