Public comment for in-town attached accessory dwelling units

Submitted by the Town of Friday Harbor.

The Town Planning Commission is seeking public comment through Aug. 12, 2021, regarding proposed regulations for attached accessory dwelling units. Visit or Town Hall for agendas, meeting information and contact information to forward comments.

On June 3, 2021, the Town Council adopted interim regulations allowing attached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in the single-family residential zone. Ordinance No. 1721 created a narrow pathway to legally turn existing structures into additional livable space while the Planning Commission was tasked with developing permanent regulations for this type of ADU.

While the Interim Ordinance adopted dealt only with the conversion of existing structures within the same footprint, upcoming meetings will also cover the creation of ADUs as part of new construction and the expansion of existing structures to add living area. The Town Planning Commission is currently tasked with making recommendations to the Town Council on issues such as density, footprint size, lot size, yard setbacks, utilities, parking, and owner-occupancy. A series of public meetings are anticipated in the upcoming months as the Town proposes new regulations.

Attached ADUs are located within preexisting single-family residences, often involving the conversion of a garage or basement into an independent living space. These proposed regulations will allow owner-occupants in the Town to carve out space within their primary residences to create smaller, independent living units.