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Salem Considers Accessory Dwelling Zoning Amendments


The City of Salem has been working to create policies that will facilitate more housing options in Salem.

Mayor Driscoll will be discussing a zoning change that could provide a surge of rental housing across the city during her State of the City address on Monday.

City planners recently drafted a new set of proposed rules governing "accessory dwelling units", otherwise known as in-law apartments, in all residentially zoned parts of the city. These rules would remove many restrictions on the apartments, essentially allowing them to be rented out like any other apartment.

The rules were submitted to the City Council on June 13, and they'll be discussed by Mayor Kim Driscoll during her speech Monday at the Workbar, 120 Washington St., at 7 p.m. Driscoll is also planning to address transportation issues, education and ways to combat the ongoing impacts caused by climate change.

In-law apartments are already allowed in single-family zones around Salem, but they come with some stiff restrictions. First, they can only be lived in by a family member of the property owner or a caregiver and they must be removed when the "tenant" leaves or the home is sold. They're also currently prohibited in all other residential zones.

Under the newly proposed rules, in-law apartments could be created without zoning board approval (by right, in other words) in any residential zone, if they met certain parameters. That includes a maximum of 800 square feet in size, doesn't cause a net loss of trees on the property and provides adequate parking on-site.

The Salem City Council Joint Public Hearing with the Planning Board relative to amending two Zoning Ordinances regarding Accessory Living Areas will be held on July 8, 2019

Salem News Coverage of the Salem's State of the City Address


Information on Public Hearing


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