Accessory Dwellings Units: Good for your pocketbook, good for the city
By Guest Writer Jordan Palmeri, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Are you aware of the Accessory Dwelling Units concept? An ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) is a second dwelling unit created on a residential lot. The second unit is created as a smaller auxiliary to the main dwelling.. These homes represent a tremendous opportunity to improve a community’s environmental, economic, and social well being. From an environmental standpoint, small homes use fewer materials, less energy, create less waste, and increase density. Initially, they can also provide a more feasible scale for incorporating reused and natural building materials, and achieving green building standards such as Passive House and the Living Building Challenge.
Recently, the City of Portland waived all system development charges, which ranged from $8,000 - $12,000, for permitting accessory dwelling units over the next 3 years. At a time when many may be questioning both the economic and environmental effects of our consumption habits, small homes can facilitate a simpler lifestyle- one that focuses more on family and community.
For more information about ADUs in the state of Oregon visit Oregon DEQ.