Raleigh Could Legalize Accessory Dwelling Units—With Lots of Strings Attached

Residents in parts of Raleigh would be allowed to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their property, if a majority of their neighbors approve the idea.
September 6, 2018, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Payton Chung

"Backyard cottages have cleared a critical hurdle to being approved within Raleigh city limits, but some worry that the proposed rules will be too taxing for most people," reports Anna Johnson.

"The regulations, which were recommended by a Raleigh City Council committee Wednesday afternoon, would require your neighbors to vote on whether you should be allowed to build a backyard cottage," according to Johnson.

The city's new regulations would create a special district where ADUs would be allowed to seek approval from neighbors. The regulations also lay out other zoning and development considerations. The regulations are still several months away from final approval, however.

While there's still time to refine the rules, Philip G. Freelon and Michael Stevenson, architects at Perkins+Will, penned an opinion piece calling a less restrictive approach to ADUs. By severely restricting the ability of homeowners to permit and build ADUs, "[the] zoning policy harkens back to the era when discriminatory planning and zoning was purposefully and effectively used as a means to segregate neighborhoods by race, class and income," according to Freelon and Stevenson.

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Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 in The News & Observer
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