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Salt Lake considers expansion of mother-in-law apartments

By Sean Moody, KSL TV | Posted - Sep. 27, 2018 at 9:40 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Council may soon decide whether or not to allow accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, across the city.

ADUs, traditionally known as “mother-in-law apartments,” are typically in the basements of houses, built on top of garages, or sometimes a separate structure on the lot. Current city rules allow ADUs only within a half-mile of FrontRunner, TRAX, or S-Line stops. Some believe more of the units could help with increasing housing demand in Salt Lake City.

“(The) council has been talking about ADUs for years,” said District 5 council member and council chair Erin Mendenhall.

The council is also considering removing a cap that limits ADU permits to 20 per year. The property owner would have to reside in either the main residence or the ADU.

The city said the change could help create more housing units, support affordable housing options, and make more efficient use of housing stock. Mendenhall said the change could also help some of the city’s aging population stay in their homes, renting space to people who can help them with daily tasks.

“They tell me, ‘I’d love to have this extra income. I’d love to have extra help in the yard, have someone help me shovel the driveway, have someone else on the property with me,'” she said.

The city is taking feedback on its website. There have been mixed responses. Some said the change would be good for the city, potentially helping renters find affordable housing and giving homeowners a way to make money to help with mortgages.

There will be public hearings on October 2 and 16. The council may vote on October 16 after the public hearing.

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