zoning

ADU Zoning In Flux

NOTE: Our summary of ADU zoning located at http://urbangr.org/GRADURegs2018r2 is currently obsolete.

UPDATE: 2019-09 - It appears that the new status-quo is what is, the disappointing results of "Housing NOW" are what we have.

WMCAT's Housing [not] NOW Report

The WMCAT presentation to the City Commision with the results from the community out-reach events is available as PDF or ODP. The "original" Google Drive document is here.

The presentation to the City Commission on October 9th, 2018, is available on Youtube.

A Critique of NOW's ADU Proposal

It has been more than six months since the Housing NOW related zoning proposals were released, and then indefinitely tabled. I have yet to encounter a detailed critique of the proposals. Given the disappointing condition of the debate I've decided to offer one here for the topic of which I am most familiar: Accessory Dwelling Units [ADUs]. Are there problems with is proposal? The answer is "yes".

Zoning: Accessory Dwelling Units

Status

As of 2018-12-18 this document is obsolete. The City Commission ratified changes to the zoning concerning ADUs on that date. Theoretically there will be another set of changes sometime in March/April/May/... at which point this document is will be updated to reflect whatever that result is.

Briefly, the changes on 2018-12-18 were:

  • Floor area ratio changed to 40% (from 25%). Size now has a hard limit of 850sq/ft. Minimum remains 400sq/ft.
  • Height reduced from 25ft to 20ft, except in some extremely rare cases.
  • Minimum lot area of 5,000sq/ft removed, now lots only need to be conforming to the minimum lot size of the zone.
  • Confusion between ADU size and Accessory Structure size has been resolved; and ADU doubles the sq/ft allowed in the Accessory Structure.
  • No change to permitting process.
  • No change to Owner Occupancy or Deed Restriction requirement.
  • No change to unit (1), occupancy (2), or bedroom (2) limit.

Disclaimer & Purpose

This is not an official document; this document is not endorsed by the Grand Rapids Planning Commision, nor are its authors qualified to present legal opinions.

The purpose of this document is to provide an introduction to the regulations related to Accessory Dwelling Units in the city of Grand Rapids, MI as of 2018. Within the Zoning the topic of Accessory Dwelling Units are directly addressed in section [5.9.03]. Other sections of the code may still impact the development of ADUs so we have attempted to cross-reference the most relevant sections.

Oct/Nov 2017, Many Documents

October and November (2017) have been active months. A collection of interesting documents have been created or brought into active conversation concerning both housing and mobility.

ADU Regulation Reform

The Grand Rapids Planning Commission is hosting a community discussion about possible changes to the zoning code related to Accessory Dwelling Units (aka: ADUs). This conversation is the result of a report of possible policy changes created by the Housing Advisory Committee.

The related documents from Housing Advisory Committee are:

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