It’s no secret that Montgomery residents face daunting housing challenges. Prices are high, and the right home can be hard to find, especially for an aging parent, returning adult child, or young family just starting out. One solution that can help is accessory dwelling units, or ADUs. But the County’s current rules are too onerous, and prevent many homeowners from creating an accessory unit on their property.
Accessory dwelling units offer a range of benefits, they help adult children have a place to stay close to parents, and they enable aging parents to live close to family members. They offer an aging-in-place solution for retirees, and help make housing more affordable for young families.
Tell the Montgomery County Council that you support flexible solutions like accessory dwelling units, and the zoning amendment to set more reasonable rules for homeowners.
Communities across the country are embracing accessory dwelling units as an innovative way to give homeowners and renters more housing choices, especially where housing prices are high.
Montgomery County has made steps to reform its highly restrictive rules that permit a homeowner to build an accessory apartment but many rules still discourage homeowners from reaching for this solution. Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 19-01 is legislation that will address some of the most onerous, and unnecessary restrictions. By enacting these bold reforms, the county can offer many more homeowners the opportunity to take advantage of underutilized space to house a family member, or age in place.
Specifically, the bill would:
- Allow detached ADUs in small lot single family zones and removes the 1 acre minimum lot size limit (think garage apartment or tiny house)
- Allows ADUs in basements (think English basements)
- Remove prohibition on ADUs in houses less than 5 years old
- Remove minimum distance restrictions from other ADUs.
- Requires 2 off-street parking spaces rather than 3, or provides a waiver process.
- Keeps own-occupancy requirement
- Keeps the restriction that no more than 2 unrelated individuals can reside in the ADU
- Maintains all residential construction requirements like setbacks and lot coverage.
- Permits only one ADU per property.
- Maintains ban on short term rentals (AirBnB) for ADUs
Let the county council know that you support these reforms and want to see the county as a leader in innovative housing solutions.
Don’t want to use our form? You can email County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov.