Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Enhancing Housing Options

2024-05-16Updated: 2024-05-22 Mountain View Builders

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as granny flats, casitas, or in-law suites, are smaller, independent residential units located on the same lot as a single-family home. ADUs offer a versatile solution to the growing demand for affordable housing, allowing homeowners to provide additional living space for family members, generate rental income, or create a private office or studio.

Recently, Colorado has passed House Bill 1152, which mandates the allowance of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in most jurisdictions, aiming to increase housing choices for residents.

The Benefits of ADUs

ADUs offer numerous benefits to homeowners and communities alike:

  • Increased Housing Options
    ADUs provide a flexible housing solution for families, seniors, and renters, helping to address the shortage of affordable housing. By creating additional living spaces on existing properties, ADUs can accommodate various housing needs without requiring new land development.

    They offer a viable option for aging parents who want to stay close to their children, young adults seeking independence, or renters looking for affordable housing in high-demand areas. This flexibility makes ADUs an essential tool in tackling housing affordability and providing diverse living arrangements.

  • Rental Income
    Homeowners can generate additional income by renting out their ADU, making homeownership more affordable. This extra income can help offset mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs, providing financial stability and security.

    Renting out an ADU can be especially beneficial in high-cost areas, where the additional revenue can make a significant difference in a homeowner's budget. This income potential also makes ADUs an attractive investment, as they can provide a steady revenue stream over time.

  • Multigenerational Living
    ADUs allow families to live close together while maintaining privacy and independence for each household. This setup is ideal for multigenerational families, where grandparents, parents, and children can share the same property while enjoying their own private spaces.

    ADUs offer a solution for families who want to support aging relatives or young adults without sacrificing personal space. This arrangement fosters stronger family bonds, provides support and care for family members, and offers convenience and flexibility for various family dynamics.

  • Sustainable Development
    By utilizing existing land and infrastructure, ADUs promote efficient land use and reduce urban sprawl. Building ADUs on already developed properties minimizes the need for new land development, preserving green spaces and natural habitats.

    ADUs also make use of existing utilities and infrastructure, reducing the environmental impact associated with new construction projects. This sustainable approach to housing helps create more compact, walkable communities and supports efforts to reduce carbon footprints and promote environmentally friendly living.

  • Increased Property Value
    Well-designed ADUs can enhance the value of a property, providing a long-term investment for homeowners. Adding an ADU to a property can increase its market appeal and resale value, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

    This added value is particularly significant in areas with high housing demand, where ADUs can serve as a key selling point. Additionally, ADUs offer homeowners the opportunity to diversify their property portfolio and generate passive income, contributing to long-term financial growth and stability.

Colorado's New ADU Legislation

Governor Jared Polis recently signed House Bill 1152 into law, making Colorado the fifth state to pass strong ADU legislation. This new law requires local governments to allow the construction of ADUs on single-family home properties, with several exemptions. These exemptions include properties that cannot handle additional water and sewer infrastructure or are on historic properties. The legislation aims to remove restrictive design or dimension standards and encourage the development of ADUs across the state. Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Minimum Size and Setbacks
    The law allows ADUs of at least 800 sq ft and reduces side and rear setbacks to 5ft. This change makes it easier for homeowners to incorporate ADUs into their existing properties, maximizing the use of available space. By setting a minimum size, the law ensures that ADUs are functional and livable, providing ample room for comfortable living.

    The reduced setbacks allow for more flexible placement of ADUs on a property, making it feasible to add an ADU even on smaller lots. These adjustments help streamline the approval process and encourage more homeowners to consider building ADUs.

  • Parking Requirements
    Off-street parking is not required for ADUs, making it easier for homeowners to build them. This provision removes a significant barrier to ADU construction, particularly in urban areas where parking space is limited. By eliminating the need for additional parking, the law reduces the overall cost and complexity of building an ADU.

    This change also supports sustainable urban development by encouraging the use of existing public transportation options and reducing the reliance on personal vehicles. Homeowners can now focus on the design and functionality of their ADU without worrying about the constraints of parking requirements.

  • Owner Occupancy
    While the bill eliminates owner occupancy requirements, it does include an optional owner developer requirement, allowing cities to choose whether to enforce this provision. The removal of mandatory owner occupancy requirements is a significant step forward, as it enables more flexibility in the use and development of ADUs.

    Homeowners are no longer obligated to live on the property, making it possible to rent out both the primary residence and the ADU. The optional owner developer requirement, however, allows municipalities to ensure that the property owner is involved in the initial development process. This balance aims to support both homeowner developers and professional builders, fostering a diverse range of ADU projects across the state.

  • Homeowners' Associations
    The law supersedes any HOA rules that prohibit ADUs, ensuring more homeowners can take advantage of this housing option. By overriding restrictive covenants set by homeowners' associations, the legislation opens up new opportunities for ADU development in areas previously limited by HOA regulations.

    This change empowers homeowners to maximize the potential of their property, regardless of HOA restrictions. It also promotes housing diversity and affordability, as more properties become eligible for ADU construction. By eliminating these barriers, the law helps create a more inclusive and flexible housing market, benefiting homeowners and renters alike.

Building ADUs with Mountain View Builders

At Mountain View Builders, we are excited to offer our expertise in constructing high-quality ADUs tailored to your needs. With over 18 years of experience in the construction industry, founder Josh Esquibel and our dedicated team are committed to delivering superior craftsmanship and innovative design.

Whether you're looking to create additional living space for family members, generate rental income, or enhance your property's value, we can help you build a functional and beautiful ADU.

We proudly serve Cañon City, Florence, Penrose, and the surrounding areas in Fremont County, Custer County, Pueblo County, and Park County. Our team is dedicated to bringing your vision to life with the highest quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build the perfect ADU for your property.