Raleigh City Council Moving Forward on Strict New ADU Regulations

From the News & Observer...

Backyard cottages have cleared a critical hurdle to being approved within Raleigh city limits, but some worry that the proposed rules will be too taxing for most people.

The regulations, which were recommended by a Raleigh City Council committee Wednesday afternoon, would require your neighbors to vote on whether you should be allowed to build a backyard cottage.

Sometimes called granny flats or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), backyard cottages aren’t currently allowed within city limits. They’re usually standalone buildings that are smaller than the main house or structure and can be used as a place for family and friends to stay or can be rented out for extra income.

The recommended rules outline a special district that would allow backyard cottages, but only after a resident applies for it and a majority of 10 acres worth of the applicant’s neighbors agree to the district. The recommendation also outlines how close the backyard cottage can be to other properties and how big it can be. It also regulates lighting and parking.

The rules wouldn’t allow the cottages to be used for short-term rentals like AirBNB and would limit the occupancy to two adults.

“You can’t be pro-environment, pro-family, pro-affordable housing, pro-inclusivity and be against making it easier to build rather than impossible to build ADUs in the city,” tweeted Brent Woodcox, a supporter of backyard cottages and frequent critic of some Raleigh leaders, before Wednesday’s meeting.

Raleigh leaders will formally hear about the recommendation during Tuesday’s city council meeting, but it will likely be months before the new rules are approved.
— Anna Johnson - N&O
Brent Woodcox