A new ordinance would reduce costs and delays for building or converting accessory dwelling units in single-family neighborhoods.
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.
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Dongguan Binhaiwan Bay Area Management Committee
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.