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Accessory Dwelling Units

Small house, photo by Small Home Oregon
Credit: Small Home Oregon
An accessory dwelling unit (ADU) is a small, self-contained dwelling that is allowed in conjunction with an existing single-family dwelling. An ADU has its own outside entrance and a separate kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. An ADU can be an apartment created within an existing home, an addition onto a home or above a garage, built as a freestanding cottage, or designed and constructed as part of a new housing development.

There are three ways that the City is encouraging ADUs as part of its affordable housing strategy:

  1. Temporarily waiving the City's system development charges for ADUs from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.
  2. Promoting awareness of possibilities for ADUs.
  3. Revising the Development Code to make it easier and potentially less expensive to build an ADU.

Temporary Waiver of System Development Charges for ADUs
From July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019 the City of Springfield is waiving transportation, stormwater, and local wastewater system development charges (SDCs) for newly permitted ADUs. This waiver reduces the cost of construction of a typical ADU by an estimated $5,000 to $6,000. Note that SDCs imposed by the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission, Willamalane Park and Recreation District, and Springfield Utility Board are still in effect. Learn more about the waiver here.

Changes to Springfield's Development Code Regarding ADUs

Accessory dwelling unit in Eugene, photo by Bekke Reiman
Credit: Bekke Reiman

On March 5, 2018, the City Council adopted Ordinance 6376 to amend the Development Code to make it easier to build ADUs. The amendments went into effect on April 4, 2018. The newly adopted Code requirements are summarized in this brochure and can be found in Section 5.5 of the Springfield Development Code.

Now, Lane County and the City of Springfield are considering amendments to the Springfield Development Code to allow ADUs in the urbanizable fringe. These proposed code amendments would allow owners of residentially-zoned property between the city limits and urban growth boundary to add an ADU on land developed with a single-family detached home. There are also some minor amendments affecting the setback from an alley when converting a garage to an ADU, requiring that unpaved off-street parking spaces be rocked and maintained, and always requiring a foundation for manufactured homes and towable structures. Community members may provide testimony at a City Council public hearing scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4, 2018 in the Council Chambers of Springfield City Hall at 225 Fifth Street, Springfield, Oregon 97477. You may submit testimony to Sandy Belson at sbelson@springfield-or.gov. More information about the hearing on June 4 is available in the public hearing notice.

Applying for an ADU
In most cases, use this application form (Type I) to apply for an accessory dwelling unit. If your property is in the Washburne Historic District, if you are providing a parking utilization study, or if you are meeting alternative design standards, please use this application form (Type II). The total land use application fee for a Type I ADU is $851.55. The total land use application fee for a Type II ADU is $1025.55. To expedite the approval process, you may apply for a Building Permit Application and Land Drainage and Alteration Permit (if required) at the same time as you apply for the land use approval.

Background: Springfield's Affordable Housing Strategy
The City Council wants Springfield to be a family-friendly community for all people in every phase of life; whether it’s just starting out with a new family, or downsizing to a smaller home. There is a lack of available housing for all income levels in Springfield, and existing housing is expensive. Learn more about the City's affordable housing strategy here.

Accessory dwelling units benefit the community by:

  • Increasing the number and type of affordable housing units without consuming land in the city’s limited inventory of undeveloped land.  In particular, they increase the supply of small rental units which is where the rental market is currently the tightest.
  • Increasing density in existing neighborhoods, taking advantage of existing infrastructure.
  • Creating opportunities for intergenerational living, on-site caretakers/assistants.
  • Diversifying the demographics of an existing neighborhood.
  • Providing financial benefit to the property owner.
  • Triggering economic development at a local scale through local builders/contractors.

Contact Information
Sandy Belson, Comprehensive Planning Manager
sbelson@springfield-or.gov
541.736.7135

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