Town Council moves forward with accessory dwelling unit ordinance

As Town Council implements community priorities, it’s important for the Town to keep residents updated. At its Dec. 5 meeting, Town Council took initial steps to allow accessory dwelling units for some Castle Rock residents.

Accessory dwelling units by definition are second small dwellings on the same grounds as a single-family home. This could include an apartment over the garage or in the basement, a tiny house in the backyard, or a mother-in-law dwelling. It’s important to note, because of homeowner association rules, physical limitations or other restrictions, an accessory dwelling unit may not be allowed in certain neighborhoods or locations.

While Council asked staff to conduct additional research, Councilmembers approved the ordinance (6-0) on first reading to update Town Code allowing accessory dwelling units in some neighborhoods. However, two amendments to the ordinance were discussed.

Council asked staff to research possible regulations for increasing the maximum square footage of an accessory dwelling unit. Additionally, staff was asked to explore options for a possible time limit on the owner occupancy requirement. The amended ordinance will be presented for a second reading at a future Town Council meeting.

If approved, the ordinance would amend Town Code to allow for accessory dwelling units as a use-by-right in residential areas. That means homeowners would be permitted to use accessory dwelling units as long as they abide by zoning regulations. However, some limitations would apply.

· Only one accessory dwelling unit would be allowed per single-family home property.

· The owner must occupy either the single-family home or the accessory dwelling unit. Both properties should not be used as rentals at the same time.

· No separate water or sewer taps will be allowed and the billing will be to the primary dwelling account holder.

· HOA rules and regulations must still be followed.

· The accessory dwelling unit should be similar in character, architectural design, style and appearance as the existing dwelling.

· Mobile homes, recreational vehicles and travel trailers will not be permitted.

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