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Accessory Dwelling Unit Code Changes

Accessory Dwelling Unit Code Changes

December 14, 2022 – Update: The proposal received a positive recommendation from the Commission on September 14th, and the changes have now been transmitted to City Council. Please continue to check this page periodically for updates on this project.

Salt Lake City is proposing to update its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance. In general, the updates are being considered as a way to increase the number of ADUs being built in the City. The changes are intended to make ADUs easier to build, as well as increase the number of locations and types of properties where they can be built.

Among the proposed changes:

  • Allowing ADUs on properties with a nonresidential use or multi-family use. Currently, ADUs are only permitted on properties with a single-family dwelling.
  • Eliminating the conditional use requirement for detached ADUs in single-family residential zoning districts. As a permitted use, detached ADUs will still be required to meet all size and location requirements in the ordinance.
  • Adding alley activation requirements for detached ADUs constructed within a certain distance from a public alley.
  • Removing the requirement that an ADU cannot be taller than the primary home or building. Instead, ADUs would follow similar height requirements as other accessory buildings like garages.  
  • Modifying setbacks so that the setback requirement is increased as the height of the ADU is increased
  • Removing vague or conflicting requirements for different types of detached ADUs so the code is easier to use.
  • Removing a requirement that said a detached ADU cannot be larger than 50% of the footprint of the home. Instead, the size of the ADU will be capped at 720 square feet.  Homes on larger lots may be able to have larger ADUs.
    • Note: The Planning Commission added a condition that the maximum size be increased to 1,000 square feet as part of their positive recommendation.
  • Changing regulations that conflict with Utah state code related to ADUs that are attached or within an existing home. 
  • Prohibit short-term rentals on properties with an ADU.

The City has prepared a legislative draft of the proposed changes, which was transmitted to the City Council. This is not a final draft. Any of the proposed changes can be modified during the Council process.

View the Legislative Draft of the Proposed Text Amendments.

Next Steps

Here is what you can expect next during the process:

2023: The ADU Ordinance Updates will be presented to the City Council for adoption.

Here is what has already happened:

Spring to Fall 2022: The Planning Division solicited community input and made a draft of the proposed code updates.

September 14, 2022: The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the plan. The Commission is legally required to make a recommendation to the City Council. They forwarded a positive recommendation with conditions. Review minutes from the meeting.

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Comments and Questions

For comments or questions please contact:

Michael McNamee, Principal Planner //

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