Sep 25, 2010

Remove Occupancy Restrictions to Promote Housing Affordability (North Carolina)

The town of Cary, North Carolina had previously included occupancy restrictions on their Accessory Dwellings -- similar to our Ohana Dwellings. To provide flexibility and promote housing affordability, they removed the requirement that occupancy be limited to family. They did however, keep a max floor area limit.

Interestingly, Barbara Marshall and the other members of the Honolulu City Council were moved by similar concerns to ease housing affordability, but enacted the opposite -- size limits were removed for Ohana dwellings in 2006, while occupancy remains limited to family: blood marriage, adoption.

The HUD Regulatory Barriers Clearinghouse applauded the Town of Cary's efforts to improve housing affordability: 
The City of Cary, North Carolina,... is facing an affordable housing shortage due to rapid growth in the region during the 1980s and 90s. In 1999, the City commissioned a study to examine its Unified Land Development Ordinance and provide recommendations for revisions. The study recommended that the City take measures to increase densities in targeted growth areas that had existing infrastructure. One suggestion was to revise the City's ADU ordinance to increase flexibility and encourage the development of ADUs. As Shawn McNamara, senior planner for affordable housing in Cary explains, "The current ordinance requires the ADU to be attached to the main house and only allows members of one's family to live in the accessory unit. We needed the extra flexibility to encourage the use of this type of housing in developing areas, both to steer growth to areas, served by existing infrastructure and to provide additional affordable housing opportunities."
 You can see their permit application and requirements, here.