Community Planning & Economic Development
 

Planning and Zoning
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Accessory Dwelling Units Text Amendment

Background

The Minneapolis City Council passed a zoning code text amendment on Friday, December 5, 2014, which allows accessory dwelling units citywide on lots with single or two-family homes.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) – also known as a “granny flat,” “mother-in-law apartment” or “carriage house” – is a self-contained living unit that can be located within the walls of an existing or newly constructed home, or that can be an addition to an existing home. It can also be a freestanding structure on the same lot as the main house.

ADUs have received significant attention in recent years as a way to provide more flexible housing options in built-out urban neighborhoods. Over the past few decades, municipalities across the country have adopted standards to allow or encourage the construction of ADUs. Prior to the passage of this ordinance, ADUs were only allowed in Minneapolis in a small portion of the Phillips community.

On Friday, June 27, 2014, Council Member Lisa Bender of Ward 10 introduced an ordinance amendment to allow ADUs citywide in Minneapolis to respond to an increasing number of inquiries from residents, neighborhood organizations, community leaders, and advocates in the active living, senior housing, transit, architecture, and affordable housing communities about the current zoning code restrictions on ADUs.

“Allowing accessory dwelling units in Minneapolis is an important way to provide more housing options in our neighborhoods,” said Council Member Lisa Bender. “We have received so many supportive comments from people who want ADUs to be allowed for extended families, to help seniors stay in their homes, and to provide a way to add more housing units gradually in neighborhoods over time.”

City staff solicited feedback on the allowance and regulation of ADUs from the community and various stakeholder groups by holding five open houses and administering an online survey. Staff incorporated best practices research and public input in the draft regulations to ensure that ADUs will be constructed in a way that would fit into the existing character of the city’s neighborhoods.

Adopted Ordinance

Past Meetings Agendas

 

Last updated Dec 19, 2014

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