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The City Council made changes to the city ordinance on accessory dwelling units to comply with state law at their first meeting of the new year on Jan. 10.

The state defines an accessory dwelling unit as a secondary unit as part of a primary residence. Other more common names for them include granny units, in-law units or backyard cottages. They can be freestanding or attached. Junior accessory dwelling units, on the other hand, are allowed to be created within the walls of a proposed or existing single-family residence and are no more than 500 square feet.

“It’s not an overhaul and it’s not a brand new ordinance,” explained Annie Branham, who presented the topic to council. Branham is an attorney with Best Best and Krieger Municipal Law, an outside agency contracted by the city. “It’s just a strikeout—replace language in your existing ordinance in order to come into compliance with state law.”


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