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LE: Livingston moves to legalize ADUs

As Livingston grows, so do the planning considerations.

Livingston moves to legalize ADUs
By Sam Klomhaus – Livingston Enterprise Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 7, 2020

The city of Livingston took the first step toward legalizing accessory dwelling units (ADUs) Thesday, with the City Commission passing an ordinance on first reading that would allow the units.

An accessory dwelling unit is a second, smaller dwelling unit on a lot not requiring additional lot space, assistant planning director Mathieu Menard said, and ADUs are not allowed in Livingston right now.

Attendee Johnathan Het tinger noted during public comment a lot of the rentals in town are ADUs, even though they’re technically not allowed.

Livingston’s recent population growth, decrease in vacancies and increase in rent prices means the city needs more housing stock, Menard said, and allowing ADUs would increase housing stock without causing sprawl, and with less impact on infrastructure.

ADUs can help make homeownership more accessible by giving homeowners another source of income, Menard said.

The Zoning Commission approved the proposed ordinance, Menard said, and many members of the public were conce rned AD Us would turn into unsupervised vacation rentals.

Jim Baerg, chairman of the Zoning Commission, recommended the city take a cautious, conservative approach to allowing ADUs.

Hettinger suggested requiring owner occupancy in at least one of the dwellings on a given property.

Attendee Joseph Bullington said the city should prioritize increasing affordable rentals, and de-prioritize short-term and vacation rentals.

Commissioner Quentin Schwarz said he liked the idea of an owner occupancy requirement, as it keeps someone in vested in the property on the property. “The point of having affordable rentals would be totally destroyed by hav ing them be vaca tion rentals,” Commissioner Warren Mabie said.

Source: The Livingston Enterprise