Community Feedback on Accessory Dwelling Units

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Home with and accessory dwelling unit (ADU) in Prospect, Longmont.

An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a second, smaller housing unit on the same lot as another, larger home. ADUs, sometimes referred to as mother-in-law suites, granny flats, casitas, backyard cottages, or carriage houses, can be a useful tool for including additional housing types in a neighborhood without substantially changing the character of a neighborhood. ADUs can be within an existing single-family detached dwelling, like a basement apartment, or they can be in a separate structure, like an apartment above a garage. In all cases, ADUs are intended for use as a complete, independent unit with kitchen and bathroom facilities; they are completely independent of the main home. ADU’s have been permitted in the City’s residential zoning districts for about 20 years.

Recently, there has been increasing interest in ADUs, which has resulted in some neighborhood concerns. City Council has directed staff to make code revisions, which are currently underway.


An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a second, smaller housing unit on the same lot as another, larger home. ADUs, sometimes referred to as mother-in-law suites, granny flats, casitas, backyard cottages, or carriage houses, can be a useful tool for including additional housing types in a neighborhood without substantially changing the character of a neighborhood. ADUs can be within an existing single-family detached dwelling, like a basement apartment, or they can be in a separate structure, like an apartment above a garage. In all cases, ADUs are intended for use as a complete, independent unit with kitchen and bathroom facilities; they are completely independent of the main home. ADU’s have been permitted in the City’s residential zoning districts for about 20 years.

Recently, there has been increasing interest in ADUs, which has resulted in some neighborhood concerns. City Council has directed staff to make code revisions, which are currently underway.