Accessory Dwelling Unit Project
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are generally small-scale residential units that are accessory to a single-family home. Also known as granny flats, mother-in-law units, laneway houses, or secondary dwelling units, ADUs were more common in the U.S. prior to the 1960's. Many cities are now realizing several benefits of ADU's including efficient use of existing developed land and public infrastructure, creation of affordable housing opportunities, increased income opportunity for home owners, and the opportunity to care for an elderly or disabled family member in an independent living arrangement.
The Moscow Planning and Zoning Commission is currently considering whether to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) within Moscow. The Commission has reviewed ordinances that permit ADUs in a variety of cities throughout the northwest to understand what type of standards are being applied to secondary dwelling units that can either be within an existing single-family home (such as a basement apartment) or within a detached accessory structure (such as above a detached garage).
The subject of ADUs was introduced to Moscow citizens with the distribution of the 2012 City of Moscow Citizen Survey. The survey included questions about whether or not residents would support ADUs in their neighborhood, as well as asked residents if they would be interested in adding an ADU if they were permitted in Moscow.
This early public input was favorable for ADUs and therefore led the Planning and Zoning Commission to explore the potential of allowing ADUs in Moscow. Public input received at the first open house on January 22, 2014, has been reviewed by the Commission. The Commission has proposed two different options for permitting and regulating ADUs based upon the community input that was received. More detailed input is now being sought on the two different proposed options, one being more restrictive and the other being less restrictive. At this stage in the project, the Commission will continue to review and evaluate public input on the subject. Additional public input opportunities for this project will be available and announced in the coming months.