A new housing option will be made available to Tooele City residents after the Tooele City Council approved an ordinance amending city code to allow for accessory dwelling units at its meeting Wednesday night.
The city code defines accessory dwelling units as “a subordinate dwelling with its own eating, sleeping, and sanitation facilities” that is either located inside a primary residence, or in an attached or detached dwelling unit. Examples include basement apartments, garage apartments, carriage houses or tiny homes.
Tooele City Attorney Roger Baker said the state is experiencing a deficit of about 50,000 homes, representing the gap between available housing units and families. Baker introduced the council to the possibility of accessory dwelling units in March, but has worked on the ordinance for 11 months.
The ordinance before the City Council included 20 examples of benefits to the secondary units, including lower priced housing for students, young families, retirees and others, increased property value, reducing single-family yard irrigation and venting pressure to create new, large apartment complexes.
“This policy will provide new income streams to Tooele homeowners who take advantage of it,” Baker said. “It will allow Tooele residents to age in place, or in other words, to remain on their properties through various life stages, from singles and new families to retirees.”
The new section of code puts restrictions on accessory dwelling units, such as minimum lot size, size of the unit and parking.
The minimum lot size for an attached or detached accessory dwelling unit is 8,500 square feet and 7,000 square feet for an internal unit. The units are only permitted on residential lots zoned to R1-7 or lower densities; the R1-7 zone permits 7,000-square-foot lots.
Internal accessory dwelling units have a minimum size of 400 square feet, but cannot exceed the square footage of the foundation of the primary dwelling. Attached units also have a minimum size of 400 square feet, but can’t be larger than 800 square feet on one story, with a maximum size of 1,200 square feet.
For detached accessory dwelling units, the minimum size is 800 square feet, with a maximum of 1,200 square feet.
Each accessory dwelling unit is required to have one additional on-site parking stall for each bedroom in the unit. No accessory dwelling unit can exceed two bedrooms.
No residents spoke during a public hearing on the accessory dwelling unit ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.
The City Council unanimously approved the accessory dwelling unit ordinance on a motion from City Councilman Brad Pratt, seconded by City Councilwoman Melodi Gochis.