Nearly 1.4 million single-family properties currently house some sort of accessory dwelling unit, whether it be a guest house, in-law suite... or home schoolhouse? Housing Design Matters offers the idea that with recent changes in how we use our homes, it could be easier and more logical to go the ADU route than purchasing an entirely new home. An ADU could become a homeowner’s remote home office, schoolhouse, escape for the parents, guest house, or home gym. These units are poised to meet nearly every need: a separate work space outside of the home, updated technology and features, even acting as a quiet, private space to escape.
From a zoning perspective, if a space has a range or cook-top, it is considered an additional dwelling and thus not allowed in single-family zoning. Additionally, they argue that it aggravates parking problems that already haunt many older single-family communities that only accommodate parking for two cars – long before cars were affordable for teenage drivers. But don’t worry, I’ll explain how this is applicable to new communities as well! Stay with me!
Let’s examine some uses, evaluate their true potential and see if we can win the zoning argument.