Grand Junction City Council unanimously voted Wednesday to approve an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) production program to help improve the city’s affordable housing stock.
An ADU is a small, independent dwelling unit on the same property as a larger stand-alone unit. ADUs can include things like basement units or converted garages.
“The ADU production program works to support production of naturally-occurring affordable housing in our community, as ADUs tend to be lower costs and also smaller units so they tend to have lower rents,” Housing Manager Ashley Chambers said.
The program includes impact fee waivers for police, fire, transportation, water, wastewater and parks.
Impact fee waivers are paid by the city, and the money for the impact fees comes out of the general fund. In order to receive the fee payment, developers must construct the ADU within one year and not have any short term rental of the ADU for the first five years.
Additionally, ADUs constructed on owner-occupied property can receive an incentive up to a total combined with the fee waivers of $15,000 with an extra two-year commitment to not having short term rentals, bringing the total to seven years.
In order to get the extra incentive the owner must make less than 140% of the area median income.
City Council agreed to set aside $250,000 for the program.
That sum will come out of the approximately $750,000 the city has not yet allocated from its 2023 budget for affordable housing.
That number would support about 16-26 additional ADUs being built in Grand Junction, Chambers said.
Council Member Randall Reitz abstained from the vote because he said there is a good chance he will apply for an ADU.