Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ZOTA
September 2021 Update
During the special Planning and Public Safety Committee meeting on September 14, the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Zoning Ordinance Text Amendment was amended and approved to move to the full Council. The added restrictions prevent the new construction of stand-alone detached units. This means that only attached ADUs or existing detached structure conversions will be permitted. One of the amendments also states that the Planning and Public Safety Committee will revisit the ZOTA in one year to evaluate the impacts of the ordinance and the evaluation will be informed by a report from the Division of Planning. The ZOTA will be on the agenda during the Urban-County Council Work Session on Tuesday, October 12 at 3 pm. You can tune in to the work session via LexTV here.
Fayette Alliance is encouraged to see the ADU ZOTA move on to the full council after robust community input and discussion on the ordinance that has taken place over the past few years, and we look forward to continuing to support the ordinance through to its final passage. We want to thank all of the community members and organizations who have supported ADUs over the past few years, and we encourage you to continue reaching out to your Councilmembers, particularly before October 12.
Fayette Alliance is a member organization of the Coalition for a Livable Lexington. The coalition is collecting petition signatures for smart growth, specifically in support of the ADU, Open Space, and Parking Reform ZOTAs. The petition has garnered nearly 100 signatures just over the past couple of weeks. We encourage you to sign the petition here, in addition to emailing your Councilmember.
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) are homes tucked into existing communities that can help curb sprawl, add much-needed affordable housing options, expand flexibility for all stages of life, especially for our aging population, and add needed homes near jobs and transit. ADUs can be attached or detached to a current home. Sometimes they are referred to as backyard homes or garage apartments. Many ADUs are attached units in attics or basements, and not always a detached unit.
The LFUCG Division of Planning has put forth a proposal that would allow only one of these small dwelling units of up to 800 square feet on all urban, single-family residential lots in Lexington.
The original ADU ordinance was revised based on public input with the purpose of mitigating unintended consequences. The revised ADU ordinance was passed unanimously by the Planning Commission in October 2019 and it is now in the Urban-County Council’s Planning and Public Safety Committee for review.
ADUs are a small way to diversify housing options, especially for elderly people or others that might need to live close to their families, and it helps us increase the number of housing units we need, making housing more affordable for all.