Accessory Dwelling Units

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Ordinance No. 2024-02 was approved at City Council on April 16, 2024.


The purpose of this item is to consider an ordinance that would allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on lots with a single-family home. A copy of the proposed ordinance can be found under the "Documents" section on this page. General information about ADUs can be found in the "FAQ" section on this page. Highlights of the proposed ordinance can be found below.


Proposed Ordinance Highlights

The following are some key elements of the proposed ordinance. These requirements are subject to change based on Planning Commission and City Council direction.

  • ADUs would be allowed only on properties with a single-family home.
  • No more than one ADU would be allowed per property.
  • The ordinance would allow internal, attached, and detached ADUs.
  • Either the ADU or primary home may be rented at one time but not both. A rental license is required to rent either unit. An ADU may not be used as a short term rental, as they are not allowed anywhere within the City of Edina.
  • ADUs may not be sold independently from the primary home or create a separate tax parcel.
  • The maximum size for an ADU is 1,000 square feet, which is consistent with the existing maximum for detached accessory buildings. Properties where an ADU is proposed are still subject to building and lot coverage maximums, which may further restrict the size of an ADU.
  • The ordinance allows an exception for ADUs proposed within an existing basement to exceed the 1,000 square foot maximum.
  • No minimum size for an ADU is proposed.
  • Some design requirements are imposed to maintain the appearance of a single-family property.
  • Requirements for setbacks vary depending on the proposed height of the ADU. In order to allow ADUs above a detached garage, up to two stories is allowed.
  • Additional parking is not required for an ADU; however, existing restrictions for on-street parking dictate that any needed parking must be provided on the property.


How did we get here?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been identified in several of Edina's guiding documents, including the Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan and the Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force Report as a potential tool to further housing and sustainability goals. As such, the Edina Planning Commission's 2022 and 2023 work plans included the directive to "review and recommend changes to city ordinances regulating Accessory Dwelling Units". City staff and a sub-committee of the Planning Commission met numerous times over 2022 to research ADUs and how other cities regulate them.

The information was presented to the full Planning Commission at their November 16, 2022 work session. At their January 11, 2023 meeting, the Planning Commission approved an Advisory Communication recommending that the City Council direct staff and the Planning Commission to draft an ordinance allowing ADUs. The Planning Commission's recommendation was presented to the City Council at their February 7, 2023 meeting. At the May 16, 2023 City Council work session, council provided feedback to staff and the Planning Commission to continue with developing recommended zoning changes for accessory dwelling units and to collect community input on the topic.

The City gathered feedback from the community using a brief online survey. The Planning Commission held work sessions on October 25, 2023, November 15, 2023, December 13, 2023 and January 10, 2024 to review the survey results and develop the framework for the proposed ordinance.


Questions

Please contact Community Development Coordinator Addison Lewis (952-833-9522 or ALewis@edinamn.gov) with any questions.



Ordinance No. 2024-02 was approved at City Council on April 16, 2024.


The purpose of this item is to consider an ordinance that would allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on lots with a single-family home. A copy of the proposed ordinance can be found under the "Documents" section on this page. General information about ADUs can be found in the "FAQ" section on this page. Highlights of the proposed ordinance can be found below.


Proposed Ordinance Highlights

The following are some key elements of the proposed ordinance. These requirements are subject to change based on Planning Commission and City Council direction.

  • ADUs would be allowed only on properties with a single-family home.
  • No more than one ADU would be allowed per property.
  • The ordinance would allow internal, attached, and detached ADUs.
  • Either the ADU or primary home may be rented at one time but not both. A rental license is required to rent either unit. An ADU may not be used as a short term rental, as they are not allowed anywhere within the City of Edina.
  • ADUs may not be sold independently from the primary home or create a separate tax parcel.
  • The maximum size for an ADU is 1,000 square feet, which is consistent with the existing maximum for detached accessory buildings. Properties where an ADU is proposed are still subject to building and lot coverage maximums, which may further restrict the size of an ADU.
  • The ordinance allows an exception for ADUs proposed within an existing basement to exceed the 1,000 square foot maximum.
  • No minimum size for an ADU is proposed.
  • Some design requirements are imposed to maintain the appearance of a single-family property.
  • Requirements for setbacks vary depending on the proposed height of the ADU. In order to allow ADUs above a detached garage, up to two stories is allowed.
  • Additional parking is not required for an ADU; however, existing restrictions for on-street parking dictate that any needed parking must be provided on the property.


How did we get here?

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) have been identified in several of Edina's guiding documents, including the Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan and the Affordable Housing Strategy Task Force Report as a potential tool to further housing and sustainability goals. As such, the Edina Planning Commission's 2022 and 2023 work plans included the directive to "review and recommend changes to city ordinances regulating Accessory Dwelling Units". City staff and a sub-committee of the Planning Commission met numerous times over 2022 to research ADUs and how other cities regulate them.

The information was presented to the full Planning Commission at their November 16, 2022 work session. At their January 11, 2023 meeting, the Planning Commission approved an Advisory Communication recommending that the City Council direct staff and the Planning Commission to draft an ordinance allowing ADUs. The Planning Commission's recommendation was presented to the City Council at their February 7, 2023 meeting. At the May 16, 2023 City Council work session, council provided feedback to staff and the Planning Commission to continue with developing recommended zoning changes for accessory dwelling units and to collect community input on the topic.

The City gathered feedback from the community using a brief online survey. The Planning Commission held work sessions on October 25, 2023, November 15, 2023, December 13, 2023 and January 10, 2024 to review the survey results and develop the framework for the proposed ordinance.


Questions

Please contact Community Development Coordinator Addison Lewis (952-833-9522 or ALewis@edinamn.gov) with any questions.



Provide Public Input- ADU

The City of Edina offers several ways for people to provide input on development projects. Regardless of the method, all public input is considered, so people need to use only one method. 

Instructions for leaving a public comment below:

  • Your comment will be available to Planning Commission, City Council, staff and others to review immediately instead of waiting until the public hearing.
  • Your comment will be posted and publicly viewable as soon as you hit 'Submit'.
  • You will not be able to edit or remove your comment.
  • Please introduce yourself, your neighborhood and your thoughts about this project.
    Example: Barbara Smith, The Heights. The project is two blocks from my home and my children would have to walk past it every day on their way to school. Please consider adding sidewalks to this project.

Other ways to provide comment:

1 - Leave a voicemail with your public input at 952-826-0377. Staff will submit the transcribed voicemail to Better Together Edina. (Available once project application is submitted)

2 - Two public hearings will take place for each development project in the City Hall Council Chambers, 4801 W. 50th St. Attend the meetings in person to give public input or watch the meetings live from home on Edina TV (Comcast Channels 813 or 16), Facebook or EdinaMN.gov/LiveMeetings. Call in to provide live testimony at 312-535-8110. Meeting conference code and password are provided in the meeting agenda which can be found at EdinaMN.gov/Agendas

Generally, the City Council makes a decision on each development project at the City Council meeting following the second public hearing.

If you have any difficulties with participating, contact Community Engagement Manager, MJ Lamon at MLamon@EdinaMN.gov or 952-826-0360.

Public input closed on Sunday, April 7, 2024. This item is on the April 16, 2024, City Council agenda.

I was apprehensive about ADUs at first, I worried about aesthetics, over development, airbnbs, etc. However, the work that our planning committee did was incredibly thoughtful and covered all of my concerns. It covers so many aspects and doesn’t give a free rein to allow investors to building thousands of ADUs. Instead it allows home owners to build what we might see as a need with respect to leaving the aesthetic of our single family neighborhoods intact. I imagine as my children move out that they might benefit from an ADU until they can afford their own home. Or my parents might have an ADU so that a live in care taker could tend to their needs rather than living in a nursing home when they get to that point. Please vote YES to this version of ADUs. Whatever you do, don’t squash this completely. Thank you!

Fran0553 11 days ago

This is Roberta Thorpe calling, I live on Cornelia Drive in the Cornelia Neighborhood. I want to express my concerns with the ADU vote coming up. I am definitely against these structures. I think there’s enough structural pollution around us that we don’t need to look out our backyards and see another big, whatever you want to call it, shack. It’s just not necessary. I believe our backyards should be sanctuaries for our families and friends, pets, a place where the kids can run and play and we don’t have to get in our car and drive somewhere and we don’t have to look at another structure. My backyard is everyone else’s backyard and we have to be aware of that. It’s not only going to affect us but it’s going to affect everyone else that sees and looks at this on a daily basis. I don’t know about tree removal. We definitely need our trees. Size and color and roof selection on these ADUs, the wires that will be going to and from them, exhaust from dryer vents or smoke, people who stay in them, whether they smoke cigarettes or marijuana. Air pollution is a big deal. Noise that could be created and parking is another issue. So I have a lot of concern obviously for these structure and I would guess most of Edina does not want these. And like I said, we need a place to go where we can unwind and enjoy nature and not look at sheds or structures that our neighbors think are necessary or not. So, please, I hope you can state your views or mine at these meetings and vote no or do not encourage these. It probably needs a citywide vote. I don’t think most people are aware of the impact these would have on our beautiful city. Let’s keep Edina green and beautiful and our backyards sanctuaries. Thank you so much. Appreciate your time and all the service you give to the City. Have a good day. Thank you. (Voicemail transcribed by city staff)

Addison Lewis 15 days ago

I strongly support ADUs for Edina as another housing option to address missing middle housing. A great alternative for elderly parents, single professionals, family children just getting started. In reviewing the draft I want to point out a few things:
1) Removing the 250 square foot lot coverage credit and the required setback of 5'/12' from the rear yard for detached ADU's will severely limit the opportunity for ADUs in neighborhoods with smaller lots. Most East Edina lots are 9000 SF or less. The lot coverage limit of 2250 SF on these lots has mostly been used up by the existing home/addition and will not allow lot coverage for ADU development. For homeowners wanting a detached ADU over 18' high, it is unlikely they will build it with the 12' setback as this would place the unit in the middle of the back yard and take up useable yard space. Most of the detached ADU opportunity is in converting existing detached garages to ADUs. This wouldn't be allowed as the draft is written as most detached garages have an existing 4' setback. I understand the goal of the ordinance is to slowly introduce ADU development, but I encourage the Council to consider allowing the 250 SF lot coverage credit and to allow detached ADUs of 18-25' high to be built using the current accessory structure zoning setback of 3-feet for accessory structures entirely within rear yard including eaves. Thank you, Scott Busyn at 5000 France Avenue South

Liz Olson 15 days ago

Staff test.

Liz Olson 15 days ago

I strongly support the ADU concept. I have seen in work in other communities. We are an almost completely developed city, and it is especially hard to find affordable housing. We had neighbors who needed to move as they wanted their aging but still active parents to be with them. They found a larger home with a somewhat separate section. Their lot has a large back yard. They might have decided to add an ADU in that situation. It is a great option for the right situation. Thanks, Lane Ayres, 4407 Branson St.

Lane about 1 month ago

First, I support the idea of allowing ADUs. They provide many benefits including: housing for caregivers to enable aging in place, multi-generational living (for elderly parents, other relatives, or young adult children), an increase in property value, and the potential for more income. Also, typically, ADU housing, while not cheap to build, is a more affordable than other alternatives. Finally, ADUs are a simple way to add housing in a fully developed community. The proposed ordinance is very well constructed. Having attended all the Planning Commission's work sessions for developing this ordinance I can attest to the thoroughness and thoughtfulness of the discussion. I was particularly impressed with the frequent use of plat maps and aerial views from many different types of neighborhoods to ensure careful consideration of what the impact would be for different lot sizes and lot configurations. The resulting ordinance does a good job of balancing the need for ADUs with the need to ensure the interests of the neighbors and the community are protected. Based on the experience both nationwide and in neighboring cities who have already permitted ADUs, the number of ADUs that occur will be low and spread out over time. This ordinance provides one more tool in the toolbox to provide much needed additional housing solutions in Edina. I urge approval of this ordinance.

sbrown7892 about 1 month ago

The proposed ADU ordinance is well thought out and I support it. While we shouldn't expect to have a large number of ADUs in Edina, they will provide a helpful option for families who want to provide separate but nearby housing for elderly parents, a young adult child, a relative with a disability who can live semi-independently, or a caregiver. Others can benefit by having a small unit on their property to rent out. The restrictions suggested are reasonable. While ADUs will not solve the housing crisis in our region, they represent an important option and a positive step in the right direction.

Chris Bremer

Chrisb about 1 month ago

I write in support of this well-crafted ADU ordinance. We are facing a housing affordability crisis and a climate crisis. This ordinance will enable us to increase housing density and affordability across the city. That will help support pubic transit, reduce car emissions, and support the City's sustainability goals. Further, it may free up "starter" single family homes presently occupied by seniors who want to downsize yet remain within their home Edina community. Finally, ADU's already exist in Edina, some free-standing such as garage apartments, some attached to single family homes. The proposed ADU ordinance allows for licensing other forms of regulation. This protects public safety and the stability of our community.
Hope Melton

Hope Melton about 1 month ago

I support the ordinance for ADUs. The proposed ordinance is very good and provides an alternative for Edina property owners who desire a second housing unit on their property for extended family, additional income, or housing of support staff such as a medical caretaker or nanny. It reflects the intent of previous council approved housing plans under the Comprehensive Plan and the Housing Strategy Report. I applaud the hard work of the Planning Commission and city staff in putting this draft forward. Adoption of the ordinance will demonstrate that local government can be supportive of measures to increase housing supply especially modest affordable housing.
Some suggestions:
-There should be a distinction between a detached ADU and an ADU attached to a detached garage if there is a concern about the number of additional structures on a lot.
- Clarify to allow a spec builder or a new construction builder the right to design an ADU as part of a new build or rehabilitation of a property meant to appeal to the market.
-If there is a requirement that a property be owner occupied, allow a provision for an owner to rent out both unit if the owner leaves the property for a period of time due to a temporary job transfer or must move out for some unforeseen hardship temporarily. City staff should be allowed to grant the waiver.
-Since there are building codes, rental licensing requirements, and ordinances against disturbing the peace; there really is no reason that the one unit be owner occupied. There are rental single family and duplex units that are not owner occupied including at least one on my block with no problems.

Morningside guy about 2 months ago

We have a housing crisis--not only in the state but in Edina--and this proposal is one way that we can begin to address it by providing a significant option. We need more housing options, and ADUs are one helpful step. Evidence from other communities shows modest uptake; ADUs are not a threat to our school or transport systems. Edina should embrace this option.

Jinnet about 2 months ago

I'm Bruce U. Living in Braemar Hills. I'm supportive of ADUs in Edina.
This will provide more options for residents wishing to stay in their much loved neighborhoods. I do think owner occupancy is needed to help maintain the integrity of our neighborhoods.
Since this ordinance has been months in the making why haven't I seen mention of this in the Edition: Edina which is mailed to every home in the city? I get a required notification when my neighbor wants a fence variance. This ordinance could have much more impact than my neighbors fence. As I said, I support this ordinance, but, let's be certain all potentially impacted have opportunity to comment. Thank you.

Bruce U. about 2 months ago

Thank you, Addison for your work here. I fully support this for Edina. However, I'm curious why there is the additional requirement of "Either the ADU or primary home may be rented at one time but not both."? The stated goal of this ordinance is to "to further housing and sustainability goals," but limiting how property owners can use their own properties seems contradictory. If people are scared of renters then we shouldn't allow any rental units in Edina. But if renters are okay (which seems to be the case because we let single-family home owners and landlords of duplexes+ make a killing renting their properties) then we should be okay with it here.

Amirmissaghi about 2 months ago

Hi my name is Connie Wilde and I live at 4413 Morningside Road. I'm leaving feedback for the accessory dwelling units proposal and I just wanted to say how much I appreciate the process and I was part of a focus group. I just reviewed the key proposed ordinance highlights and I really feel heard because you specifically have no minimum size with units and that you're requirements for setbacks can vary depending upon the proposed height of ADU and that it is available to be on a detached garage. I really appreciate that. Living in the Morningside neighborhood with smaller lots, this is something that I would definitely consider and I think you've done a really good job of listening to the comments from the community. Thank you. (Voicemail received 2/17/24 at 9:04 AM. Transcribed by City Staff)

Liz Olson about 2 months ago

Fully support. Will allow for more multi-generational living situations / support more “aging-in-place” opportunities instead of sending elderly to nursing homes as our general population continues to age.

Grant about 2 months ago
Page last updated: 17 Apr 2024, 08:43 AM