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Commonwealth's Counties

VACo Opposes Legislation to Make ADUs a By-Right Use

SB 304 (Salim) and HB 900 (Srinivasan) mandate all localities permit accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as an accessory use in residential zoning districts. The legislation also prohibits a locality from requiring (1) dedicated parking for the ADU; and (2) Lot sizes or setbacks for the ADU greater than that of the primary dwelling.

Additionally, the legislation limits what a locality may require to the following:

  • No more than one ADU to be located on a lot;
  • A rental period for such ADU of at least 30 days;
  • Replacement of a primary dwelling’s required parking if the construction of the ADU eliminates such parking;
  • Square footage of the ADU to not exceed 75 percent of the primary dwelling’s square footage; and
  • Compliance with (i) limitations on massing and impervious surfaces; (ii) building codes; (iii) water, sewer, septic, and stormwater requirements; and (iv) historic and architectural districts and corridor protection restrictions.

Action Required – Contact members of Senate Local Government Committee to vote “NO” on SB 304, and contact members of House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee to vote “NO” on HB 900.

HB 900 differs slightly in that does allow for a locality to require owner occupancy of the ADU or the primary dwelling, but not both.

SB 304 will be heard in the Senate Local Government Committee on Monday, January 29. HB 900 has been referred to the House Counties, Cities and Towns Committee.


  • 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 in all single-family zoning districts excludes input from citizens and communities on whether, and how, ADUs can fit within existing and proposed residential developments.


VACo Contact: Joe Lerch, AIC

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