The Ukiah City Council Wednesday will consider adopting a revised city ordinance regulating Accessory Dwelling Units recommended by the Ukiah Planning Commission.
“Three new state laws were adopted that are designed to make it easier to build such units,” Planning Manager Kevin Thompson told the Planning Commission during its three hearings on the topic. “The laws also significantly affect the way that the city can regulate a second unit.”
These changes also reduce the city’s ability to charge new connection fees for sewer hook-ups.
“The real shock wave from the planning perspective is that we can’t require setbacks for ADUs proposed in existing garages,” continued Thompson, explaining that setbacks for new ADUs are also much less: while an addition to a house would require a 20-foot setback, an ADU would only need five feet.
The lack of setbacks worries many residents who expressed concern about the amount of noise, light and smells the people occupying these new dwellings would bring into their lives.
“Increasing the size of your house is an impact on your neighbors, and renting out a bedroom increases the amount of people living on a property,” said Commissioner Linda Sanders, who said she felt the city needed to balance its need for housing with the need to retain existing residents’ quality of life.
The Ukiah City Council last month voted to introduce the updated ordinance, and is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to adopt the ordinance.
The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Aug. 2 in the City Council chambers at 300 Seminary Ave.
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