After a new state law limited ways cities can restrict extra apartments on homes, the Logan Municipal Council needs to allow them in the city — the question now is just where.
The council is discussing the city’s ordinance on accessory dwelling units — separate housing spaces in homes that can be rented out — before deciding on which residential areas will allow them.
Due to the growing housing crisis, the Utah Legislature passed HB 82 earlier this year, which partially deregulated ADUs statewide.
Currently Logan and Provo are the only cities without ADU ordinances, but under HB 82, they now have to allow ADUs in at least 33% of their residential zones. To be considered for an ADU, homes would have to be located on a 6,000-square-foot lot or greater, must be a single-family home and be the “primary dwelling” of the owner, according to proposed ordinance 21-14.
Proponents say ADUs are a quick way to increase available housing without dramatically changing an area. According to the City of Ogden’s webpage, accessory dwelling units can help “increase the housing supply with minimal impacts to the scale of an existing neighborhood.” ADUs could help provide more housing in cities where other types of housing may be “too tall, too wide, or too bulky with the surrounding structures.” ADUs are also subject to building code requirements, utility requirements, fire codes, and other regulations that apply to all new buildings and additions to buildings.
The five options the council will consider are:
– Citywide ADUs;
– A small buffer around USU that stretches from 1600 East and 1400 North to 200 East;
– A large buffer around USU that stretches from Main Street and 1400 North to the city boundary;
– An option that includes Main Street and the 1000 West “employment corridor”;
– And one that excludes Traditional Neighborhood Residential, or NR-6, zones.
The Logan Municipal Council took public comment on the issue at its Sept. 7 meeting.
“I applaud the State Legislature for recognizing there’s a housing issue,” concerned resident Burt Lamborn said. “I can see why you might think ADUs would be a good idea — it could be good or bad depending on the neighborhood it’s applied to. I just don’t think it would work in the Adams neighborhood. It isn’t going to be effective at mitigating the housing issue that the state is trying to solve.”
Keegan Garrity, who is running for a seat on the Logan Municipal Council, was in favor of applying ADUs to the whole city in order to “mix it up” and “diversify” housing in Logan. He detailed his positive interactions with neighbors while he was living with an elderly couple during his time at Utah State.
“I felt like I was more a part of the community than just there for a temporary time,” Garrity said. “If we segregate the neighborhoods, certain areas have a higher percentage of owner-occupied housing, such as the Hillcrest neighborhood. I think if we mix it up a little, it will create a better dynamic for our city.”
Most who spoke during the allotted public hearing time were in favor of ADUs, including Steve Sharp, an instructor of political science at USU. He agreed that ADUs would “increase affordable housing and owner occupancy.”
“You are giving people a chance to have vibrant neighborhoods,” Sharp said. “In this housing market, young people can’t afford their mortgages on these places unless they have some extra financial assistance. It will not destroy the neighborhoods.”
ADU ordinances also require one additional parking space for the resident, which is the main reason why concerned residents are against citywide ADUs.
The council appears to be leaning toward the small USU buffer zone as its first choice for the ADU ordinance. Final decisions will be made at the Sept. 21 council meeting.