The St. Paul City Council voted 6-1 on October 17 to allow Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on single-family lots throughout the city. Adoption of the ordinance was repeatedly delayed this fall as the council sought stronger language on the requirement that properties be owner-occupied, and made sure that city staff could weigh in on how the units would be inspected.
The sole vote against the ordinance was cast by council member Dan Bostrom, who feared that the main houses will be converted to rental units. “The long-term unintended consequences are significant as we put additional dwelling units on single-family lots,” he said. Other council members said they believe the ordinance has been strengthened and that it will give people more housing options. Under the ordinance, the single-family property must be owner-occupied and have a deed re-
striction ensuring that if the home is sold, the new owner will live on the property or discontinue the occupancy of the ADU. The ADUs may not be sold separately.
ADUs can be built inside or as an addition to an existing home, above a garage or in a new building in the backyard. The units must be on single-family properties of at least 5,000 square feet. They also must meet other conditions, such as building heights and setbacks.
The units were previously only allowed in neighborhoods with carriage houses or within a half mile of the light-rail Green Line between Lexington Parkway and the western city limits.
Supporters contended that allowing the units citywide would add housing density and allow family members to live together while retaining some privacy. Opponents raised objections about parking congestion and the prospect that the units would add to the city’s problems with rental properties.
BY JANE MCCLURE
October 4- November 6, 2018, pg. 4
St. Paul has recently approved the citywide adoption of ADUs (accessory Dwelling Units), whereas before they were only doable in limited areas. If you are interested in getting a 'Second Suite' in St. Paul, you now have the opportunity!