What are ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units)
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) may also be known as “granny flats,” “granny pods,” or “mother-in-law apartments.” ADUs are add-on living quarters that provide room for the current property to house additional people comfortably. ADU’s are not shared living spaces — they are separate living spaces that include a kitchen and bathroom. Some ADUs are attached to the main home, while others are separated structurally from the primary dwelling unit.
What are the benefits of ADU’s?
Benefits of ADU’s to Property Owners
- ADU’s can provide extra income from the same property
- ADU’s are a less expensive way to build
- ADU’s can pull from an already existent infrastructure
- ADU’s can blend in with the current property to maintain character
- ADU’s help property owners get more value from their current holdings
Community Benefits of ADU’s
- ADU’s add to the housing supply to relieve shortages
- ADU’s can be an affordable housing option for many who couldn’t otherwise afford a home
- ADU’s allow families to take better care of elderly or disabled loved ones
- ADU’s can be perfect for young people or single people to lower the cost of living
- ADU’s can be a stop-gap to urban sprawl and zone changes
What types of Accessory Dwelling Units are there?
ADUs can be classified into three categories, depending on their relation to the main home: interior, attached, and detached.
- Interior ADUs are located within the primary dwelling. Normally, that calls for converting a basement or attic into living quarters.
- Attached ADUs are built alongside the main home. Many owners choose to add an ADU above the garage, rather than add on to the side or rear of the primary dwelling place.
- Detached ADUs are structures completely separate from the main home. They can be built over a detached garage or shop, or they can be located on a different part of the lot, depending on space available.
What are the Regulations Concerning ADUs?
Every locality manages its own building and planning. Once you’ve decided where you want an ADU built, check with the local governing body to determine whether ADUs are allowed and which regulations affect the construction.
Here are links to the current ADU requirements in Bend and Central, Oregon:
Bend, Oregon ADU Information
Regulations can change quickly, so always inquire at the city or speak with a builder who specializes in ADUs. As of January 1, 2018, regulations in Bend, Oregon, for ADU’s include the following:
- ADUs are permitted in Bend, but only one per lot
- Lots must be zoned for residential use
- The current building must be a single-family dwelling or townhome
- ADU’s in the Northwest Crossing area and Historic Districts have special requirements
- The maximum height for a detached ADU in Bend is 25 feet or the height of the primary dwelling, whichever is less
- Lots or parcels 6,000 square feet or less can include an ADU with floor space of 600 square feet or less
- Lots or parcels 6,000 square feet or more can include an ADU with floor space of up to 800 square feet
There are additional notes and requirements. Click Here to access the Bend Planning Division’s ADU Quick Reference Guide.
Deschutes County, Oregon, ADU Information
Oregon State Law does not currently allow ADUs in EFU zones (areas where housing could affect agricultural practices). According to the agricultural lands outreach program matrix, Deschutes County supports discussions with the state to amend the law and allow ADU construction.
Redmond, Oregon, ADU Information
The City of Redmond allows ADU construction on residential lots that contain a single-family home. When searching for current ADU requirements, be careful that you’re not looking at information for Redmond, Washington.
Click Here for the Redmond, Oregon, code covering ADU construction.
City of Sisters, Oregon, ADU Information
ADUs are allowed in Sisters. CLICK HERE for the City of Sisters building code.