ADU NEWS, RESOURCES AND UPDATES

Accessary Dwelling Units
Possibilities are much more than just an "in-law" space!

Basically, almost all of our projects are designed and built for accessary uses. The great part now is, in many municipalities they are admissible and permit-able for permanent dwelling use.

In municipalities where the word "dwelling" is not used, this does not necessarily mean you cannot have "dwelling" space.

Whatever your desired space usages are, our team can usually design a solution to facilitate your project. Strategies may require some type of variance or design application.

When completed, your investment will have a great ROI, be functional, flexible, and convenient and become a value add for your lifestyle needs.

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NOW ALLOWABLE IN ATL (CITY OF)

Some updated ordinance. 

Sec. 16-06.004. - Permitted accessory uses and structures.

Uses and structures which are customarily incidental and subordinate to permitted principal uses and structures are permitted. These include but are not limited to the following, subject to limitations and requirements set forth herein or elsewhere in this part:

(1)

Greenhouses, garden sheds, private garages and similar structures.

(2)

Barns for the keeping of horses, provided that no such barn shall be within 50 feet of any lot line.

(3)

Guest houses, servant quarters, or lodging facilities for caretakers or watchmen.

(4)

Swimming pools, tennis courts and similar facilities.

(5)

Home occupation, subject to the limitations set forth in section 16-29.001(17).

(6)

Structures necessary for active construction projects.

(7)

Devices for the generation of energy, such as solar panels, wind generators and similar devices.

(8)

Amateur radio service antenna structures 70 feet or less in height. Amateur radio service antenna towers over 70 feet in height shall be by special use permit and comply with the requirements of 16-25.002(3)h, except that subsection h(ii) and subsection h(iv)(d) shall not be applicable to such applications.

(9)

Electric vehicle charging stations equipped with Level 1 and/or Level 2 EVSE.

(10)

Urban gardens.

(11)

Market gardens are limited to parcels that are used as schools, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious worship facilities.

(12)

Accessory dwelling units, where the total number of dwelling units on any parcel, including the accessory dwelling unit, does not exceed two.

Except in the case of home occupation, no accessory use shall be of a commercial nature.

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CITY OF DECATUR

Some general ordinance info

Accessory Dwelling Units

An ADU (accessory dwelling unit) is an additional, self-contained dwelling on a typical single-family lot. It can be attached, such as in the lower level of the main dwelling, or detached at the rear of the property.  These smaller units represent the “missing middle,” filling the gap between single-family homes and multi-unit dwellings downtown. While ADUs are not the sole answer to Decatur’s missing middle, they represent a big step in the right direction. Residents of ADUs contribute to the vitality of the community, and ADUs make it possible for more families to own and maintain a home in the city. 

ADUs as a housing type became effective in 2015 upon adoption of the Decatur Unified Development Ordinance. They are allowed in most single-family and multi-family residential zoning districts – R-85, R-60, R-50, RM-18, RM-22, and RM-43. One ADU per primary dwelling unit is possible if the lot conforms to the minimum size requirements of its zoning district. Other considerations: 

  • An ADU may be developed in or to the rear of an existing or new main dwelling. 

  • To keep true to its accessory size, an ADU may have a floor area up to 800 square feet, and should not exceed 40 percent of the floor area of the primary dwelling. If the ADU is combined with the garage, the total floor area may be up to 1,000 square feet.

  • An ADU may have up to two bedrooms. 

  • The owner is required to reside in either the main dwelling or the ADU for at least eight months of the year; an affidavit will be required of the owner confirming residency. 

  • If detached from the main dwelling, an ADU must be located in the rear yard and have a footprint no greater than 30 percent of the rear yard.  

  • In combination with the main dwelling, the total floor area should not exceed 40 percent of the lot area. 

  • Similarly, the total lot coverage of all impervious surfaces should not exceed 40 percent of the lot area. 

As a housing option, ADUs demonstrate the values of diversity and affordability promoted by the City of Decatur. They serve to fill a gap in Decatur’s housing market by providing a new, neighborhood scale rental housing option for those looking for affordable living arrangements in a more traditional single-family-home setting.

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DEKALB COUNTY

Some general ordinance info 

  • A.

    On parcels zoned for residential single-family dwellings as a principal use, an accessory dwelling unit may be allowed as one (1) of the following:

    1.

    Attached (addition to existing building);

    2.

    Detached; or

    3.

    Within existing house (renovations to basements, wings or attics converted into separate living unit).

    B.

    The heated floor area of a dwelling unit shall not include the square footage of the garage.

    C.

    Attached and detached accessory dwelling units are permitted by right, subject to the following:

    1.

    The minimum lot size shall be ten-thousand (10,000) square feet.

    2.

    The accessory dwelling unit shall conform to applicable standards of the state and county building codes for residential units as principal uses.

    3.

    The property owner, who shall include titleholders and contract purchasers, must occupy either the principal dwelling unit or the accessory dwelling unit as their residence, and possess a homestead exemption.

    4.

    The appearance of the accessory dwelling unit shall be similar to that of the principal residence.

    5.

    Only one (1) accessory dwelling unit of any type shall be permitted on a lot.

    6.

    Prior to issuance of a building permit for an accessory dwelling unit, an applicant must provide evidence to the director of planning showing that existing or proposed septic tank facilities, as applicable, are adequate to serve both the principal dwelling and the accessory dwelling unit.

    7.

    Any detached accessory dwelling unit shall be located in the rear yard.

    8.

    A second kitchen facility may be constructed and used within a single-family residence.

    9.

    Paved off-street parking shall be provided for one (1) additional vehicle.

    10.

    Accessory dwelling units shall not exceed nine hundred (900) square feet of heated floor area and shall not exceed twenty-four (24) feet in height.

    11.

    The main entrance shall not face the closest property line. Windows, doors, balconies, porches and decks shall be sited to ensure the privacy of neighbors.

    12.

    For parcels located in a designated historic district and individually designated historic structures, the placement of an accessory dwelling unit and its architectural design shall require a certificate of appropriateness from the historic preservation commission.

( Ord. No. 15-06 , 8-25-2015)

 

WHY ARE ADU'S BECOMING SO POPULAR?

We see three main reasons:

  1. Maximization of your property usage

  2. Multi-family (generational) living that allows for all the benefits while maintaining some separation

  3. Combined uses and convenience 

Let's discuss the merits/benefits of each one:

  1. The largest cost in most real estate purchases is for your land. Investing in an accessary structure/ADU will yield a lower cost/square footage price to build, but generally produce an above 100% return.

  2. Multi-family usage can yield relational benefits/outcomes for families that transcend merely economic metrics.

  3. Combined uses may include rental income, home office space, storage, workshop space or even a spot for your vehicle.

We believe this trend of modifying ordinance/allowing ADU's within municipalities will continue. 

We will be updating information, related subject matter and creating news that we hope you find interesting.

Check back in from time to time or subscribe to our twice a month email. 

Garages for Atlanta Team

 

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