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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

VACo Opposes Bill to Make Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) a By-Right Use

HB 2100 (Hudson) mandates that any single-family dwelling (SFD), or property that is zoned for SFD, be permitted to include an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). Additionally, the bill mandates the following provisions a locality must make a part of their local ordinances related to ADUs:

  • Shall allow ADUs to be built before, after, or concurrently with the primary dwelling;
  • Shall not enact an owner occupancy requirement on a lot with a primary dwelling and an ADU. An owner may occupy either the primary dwelling or the ADU and may rent either the primary dwelling or the ADU, or both;
  • Shall not require parking for ADUs, although localities may require that a property owner replace parking required for the principal dwelling unit if the ADU construction eliminates preexisting parking;
  • Shall not require a minimum lot size for an ADU that is larger than the minimum lot size required for a single-family house in a given district;
  • Shall not require side or rear setbacks for ADUs larger than five feet;
  • Shall not prevent a homeowner from converting an existing structure to an ADU by requiring setbacks larger than the current structure’s setbacks; and
  • Shall not set limits on the square footage of ADUs other than preventing them from being larger than the primary dwelling unit, provided that other limitations on massing are met.

HB 2100 will be heard in House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee’s Subcommittee #2 on Thursday morning.

Action Required – Contact members of House Counties Cities and Town Committee’s  Subcommittee #2 to vote “NO” on HB 2100.

Key Points

  • Local governments have the authority to allow for the inclusion of ADUs within their zoning ordinances and determine the context of where ADUs can be reasonably accommodated to meet the needs of residents and homeowners.
  • A mandate to authorize an ADU wherever a single-family dwelling exists excludes input from citizens and communities on whether, and how, ADUs can fit within existing and proposed residential developments.

VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AICP

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