The State Organization Index provides an alphabetical listing of government organizations, including commissions, departments, and bureaus.
Top-requested sites to log in to services provided by the state
An ADU is a self-contained apartment in an owner occupied single-family home/ lot that is either attached to the principal dwelling or in a separate structure on the same property.
The census shows that the average number of people per household has decreased significantly over the last 30 years (from 3.1 in 1970 to 2.6 in 2002). Yet, new homes continue to be built, suggesting that there is increased capacity in the existing housing stock. This has occurred while the value of homes and the resulting tax burden continues to rise. Homeowners are often forced to sell a house that is too big for their needs, especially for fixed income residents. This issue further aggravates the already existing scarcity of affordable housing options, and the land consumption and new infrastructure required for a standard single family subdivision are significant. ADU's can provide owners the additional income necessary to maintain a home when the structure becomes more than they need or can afford.
A household may wish to provide a new self-contained unit within their property to receive additional income, provide social and personal support to a family member, or obtain greater security. However, this practice is often unlawful because of basic zoning restrictions on the allowed number of units per lot.
New, young workers in a community may decide that home ownership is a longer-term goal, and a smaller rental apartment is more appropriate now. When apartments become harder to find in a community, these workers may have to live outside of the community and away from their families.
ADU's can allow homeowners to provide separate units that fit in the neighborhoods and to increase options and affordability for both homeowner and renter or family member, and not affect the quality and physical character of the neighborhood.
Accessory units (also known as accessory apartments, guest apartments, in-law apartments, family apartments or secondary units) provide supplementary housing that can be integrated into existing single family neighborhoods to provide a typically lower priced housing alternative with little or no negative impact on the character of the neighborhood. Because the units are usually small, they are more affordable than full-size rentals.
There are three types of accessory units:
1) Interior - using an interior part of a dwelling;
2) Interior with modifications where the outside of the dwelling is modified to accommodate a separate unit (this could include a unit over the garage if the garage is attached)
3) Detached - a structure on a residential lot that is separate from the main dwelling, yet by definition still "accessory" and so smaller than the main unit (this would include a unit over the garage if the garage is detached).
Examples of detached ADU's
The common features of all accessory units are that they are self-contained and subordinate to the existing dwelling. The approach used by most municipalities for accessory units is a zoning bylaw that permits the additional, but accessory unit, allowing certain improvements to be made to the existing dwelling. Restrictions that may be considered include whether the dwelling existed as of a certain date, the maximum allowed building and site modifications, the options for choosing inhabitants, whether the owner must occupy the main unit, and minimum lot sizes. However, the greater the number of restrictions, the fewer options there are available to homeowners and the lower the number homes capable of adding units.
It is easier to create accessory units when the following conditions are present:
Accessory apartments help to increase a town's supply of affordable housing and enhance the social stability and mix of neighborhoods with little or no negative impact on the physical character of the neighborhood. They effectively improve the affordability of housing for both homeowners and renters at all stages in their lives.
Accessory Units also help to maximize use of existing public infrastructure and services and reduce the pressure on open space and farmlands from sprawling development.
The practice of allowing accessory units helps communities achieve several sustainable development principles:
Accessory units provide benefits to:
Maintaining or increasing the number of people per household unit as well as number of households per lot in existing residential areas reduces the costs for municipalities to extend utilities and services, and preserves land.
Accessory apartments also provide affordable housing for:
Increasing the number of more affordable units can also help to attract new businesses to the community.