After several years of debate, accessory dwelling units (ADUs)—also called “backyard cottages” or “granny flats”—are finally allowed in Raleigh. Raleigh City Council approved the new rules in a 6-1 vote in early July. (Back Story: In the 1970s, ADUs were outlawed by the city’s development rules.)
As a longtime Raleigh homeowner and real estate professional, I personally think this opens up many opportunities for Raleigh residents and will alleviate some very pressing housing issues throughout the city. As Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said in an announcement after the vote, the ruling not only gives Raleigh residents more control over their own property, it increases housing choices and availability in our city. The backyard cottages also contribute to housing affordability—something that our city is in great need of during this time of tremendous growth.
Think of the Possibilities
For my generation, I think about the fact that our parents are aging and how it would be so nice to give them a place of their own but at the convenience of our home.
It would be great to turn a backyard cottage into that home office you probably really need right now with all the work from home orders. If you have a child in college, you could even give them a place of their own, not too far from home.
The rules laid out by the city council state that the ADUs may be attached to the home, detached, or located above the garage but cannot be mobile and must be a part of a permanent foundation on the property. Only one ADU is allowed per property and it cannot be bigger than the main house.
Overall, I am pleased that the city council passed this ruling and will allow backyard cottages to be built around the city as residents please. In addition to personal conveniences, it will also allow for an additional stream of income for some while allowing others to better serve their families.