Cottonwood Heights officials asking for public response

October 20, 2017 by  

Cottonwood Heights is gauging local opinion on what are officially known as ‘accessory dwelling units’.

These units are also known as basement apartments, or mother-in-law apartments; by definition, such a unit is a dwelling unit used as housing for a single family located on the same property as another single-family home. The additional unit may be inside the home, as in the case of a basement apartment, or in an adjacent, but detached, building.

Many, if not most, of these units were in existence before Cottonwood Heights was first incorporated, but the city council is now considering an ordinance regulating them.

The question has arisen as to why the city would seek to regulate units that have been extant for such a long period of time, and the answer lies in making sure the units are safe. Unregulated units may not be up to code, and could present health and safety hazards unless they’re properly constructed and maintained.

The ordinance under consideration would address safety, as well as parking issues. It would also ensure there is a legal owner in residence full-time if there is an accessory dwelling unit on the property.

A hearing is now scheduled for November 1, and residents are invited to participate.

Officials behind movements like this might work with a flyer printing company to create a handout that explains the proposal in detail for attendees.