Bender pushing policy change allowing for accessory dwelling units

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June 13, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

City Council Member Lisa Bender is proposing a city policy change that would allow for accessory dwelling units (ADUs) throughout the city — small spaces attached to homes or nearby in the same yard.

The units, also known as granny flats or carriage houses, are allowed in Ventura Village and portions of the Phillips neighborhood, but not in other areas of the city. The change is intended to give families more flexibility and provide affordable housing options.

"Allowing accessory dwelling units will create more housing options for people in Minneapolis at all stages of life, allowing families the option of multi-generational living or providing a new source of income," Bender said in a statement.

Mayor Betsy Hodges also backs the proposal. "As our city's population grows, our neighborhoods are in high demand and allowing accessory dwellings is a great way to provide more housing choices to more people," she said.

Bender, chair of the Council's Zoning & Planning Committee, introduced proposed changes to the city's zoning code to allow for the ADUs at this morning's Council meeting. 

The city's Community Planning and Economic Development Department (CPED) will hold two open houses to discuss the proposed policy change — one Aug. 12, 5–8 p.m., at North Regional Library and another Aug. 23, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. at the Hosmer Library.

Other cities that allow the smaller residential spaces include Seattle, Portland, Austin and Vancouver.