Richmond Poised to Make ADUs By-Right

A new ordinance would reduce costs and delays for building or converting accessory dwelling units in single-family neighborhoods.

1 minute read

July 18, 2023, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Two-story houses on tree-lined street in Richmond, Virginia

Noel / Adobe Stock

If the Richmond City Council passes a proposed ordinance, residents will find it much easier to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the Virginia capital. 

As Wyatt Gordon explains in Greater Greater Washington, the ordinance would make building ADUs in residential areas legal by-right, eliminating costly and time-consuming permit processes. “Since the city abolished mandatory parking minimums a few months ago, any new basement apartment or backyard cottage will be equally exempt from the arduous requirement to provide on-site parking.”

While many residents support making ADUs easier to build, many have expressed concerns about short-term rentals. Some attendees at a public meeting “called for an outright ban on ADUs being used for short-term rentals so that the new units boost the city’s housing stock and don’t just become tourist accommodations.”

Councilmember Katherine Jordan requested that the council vote on short-term rental regulations before ADUs. Gordon notes, “If short-term rentals are ruled out as possible uses for ADUs, they could make a small but meaningful difference towards addressing the Richmond region’s housing shortage” and provide affordable housing options for seniors.

Monday, July 17, 2023 in Greater Greater Washington

Portland Bus Lane

‘Forward Together’ Bus System Redesign Rolling Out in Portland

Portland is redesigning its bus system to respond to the changing patterns of the post-pandemic world—with twin goals of increasing ridership and improving equity.

August 30, 2023 - Mass Transit

An aerial view of Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Plan to Potentially Remove Downtown Milwaukee’s Interstate Faces Public Scrutiny

The public is weighing in on a suite of options for repairing, replacing, or removing Interstate 794 in downtown Milwaukee.

August 27, 2023 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Conceptual rendering of Rikers Island redevelopment as renewable energy facility

Can New York City Go Green Without Renewable Rikers?

New York City’s bold proposal to close the jail on Rikers Island and replace it with green infrastructure is in jeopardy. Will this compromise the city’s ambitious climate goals?

August 24, 2023 - Mark McNulty

A rendering of the Utah City master planned, mixed-use development.

700-Acre Master-Planned Community Planned in Utah

A massive development plan is taking shape for lakefront property in Vineyard, Utah—on the site of a former U.S. Steel Geneva Works facility.

August 31 - Daily Herald

A line of cars wait at the drive-thru window of a starbucks.

More Cities Ponder the End of Drive-Thrus

Drive-thru fast food restaurants might be a staple of American life, but several U.S. cities are actively considering prohibiting the development of new drive-thrus for the benefit of traffic safety, air quality, and congestion.

August 31 - The Denver Post

Air pollution is visible in the air around high-rise buildings in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Air Pollution World’s Worst Public Health Threat, Report Says

Air pollution is more likely to take years life off the lifespan of the average human than any other external factor, according to a recent report out of the University of Chicago.

August 31 -