Salem Planning Department Recommends Changes to ADU Ordinance
July 21st at 10:47am.
Amanda Chiancola, Deputy Director of the Salem Planning Department, submitted a report to the Salem City Council reviewing the amended ADU ordinance enacted 18 months ago. Since the ordinance was adopted, seven ADU building permits have been approved and the Planning Staff has received no ADU parking-related complaints.
Based on public feedback, the Planning Department identified potential barriers to the creation of ADUs and submitted staff recommendations. Please see the potential barriers below with the associated staff recommendations.
1.) Bedroom Restriction: Section 22.214.171.124(m) The affordable accessory dwelling unit shall not contain more than two (2) bedrooms.
- Staff Recommendation: The bedroom limit does not appear to be necessary given that there are four other restrictions that address the accessory nature of ADUs. Furthermore, the requirement could result in a disparate impact on families with children which negates the ordinance’s purpose of creating diverse housing options. As such, staff recommends the bedroom limitation be removed.
2.) Detached Structures: Section 126.96.36.199(b) The affordable accessory dwelling unit shall not be constructed within a new detached accessory building, as defined in subsection 8 of Section 3.2.8.
- A few community members and builders have reached out to staff inquiring whether they could install a new detached accessory dwelling unit. Staff recommends that the Council discuss and inform staff if the Council is in support of allowing new detached accessory units.
3.) Owner Occupancy: Section 188.8.131.52(h) ….at least one (1) owner of the residence in which the affordable accessory dwelling unit is created shall reside in one (1) of the dwelling units, either the principal or accessory unit created therein, as a principal place of residence.
- It has been brought to the staff’s attention that Section 184.108.40.206(h) often precludes builders from including an ADU in new construction. Staff recommends the Council discuss and inform staff if the Council is in support of revising the owner occupancy requirement to allow for new construction to allow ADUs.
4.) Utilities on a Single Meter: Section 220.127.116.11(j) Electricity, water, oil, and gas shall be provided by a single service to both the affordable accessory dwelling unit and the principal dwelling and included in the rent.
- The City Engineer has identified this requirement as a concern as the engineering regulations require separate buildings within the same parcel to have their own water and sewer meter. Staff recommends removing “water” from Section 18.104.22.168(j) because it creates a conflict with the engineering regulations and because the objective can be achieved by merging the water account.
The City Council will discuss the staff recommendations at future meetings. Updates will be posted on the NSR blog.