Cedar Hills makes owning accessory apartments easier
It has meant that many cities, including Cedar Hills, have gone back to their ordinances to try and make them friendier toward those housing options. In Cedar Hills, it has meant revising its accessory apartment ordinance which the city council did on July 17.
Accessory (generally basement) apartments are now allowed in single-family zones in the city if owners obtain a onetime $40 conditional use permit, approved by an inspection of a building official. Impact fees have been eliminated.
The apartment can have the same address as the main home (which will be considered address "A") but must be identified by a "B" designation so that first responders know to respond to the correct entrance. Only one apartment may be allowed at each address within the zone.
If a homeowner wishes to turn his/her basement into an accessory apartment he/she needs to obtain a building permit, submit a site plan and go through the city's inspection process.
The apartment can be no smaller than 300 square feet. The property owner must reside in the main home or the apartment. Exceptions are allowed if the homeowner has a family member living there during and has a less than three year absence due to temporary job assignments, sabbaticals or voluntary service or if he/she has been placed in a hospital, nursing home, assisted living facility or other similar facility, while a family member lives at residence in his/her absence.
If the city finds issues with the accessory apartment, they will be given a reasonable time to address those issues. City officials say they will give homeowners up to two years to comply with the ordinance, after which they may be subject to a $500 fine.
The city is requiring a minimum of two off-street parking spaces for tenants, in addition to those already required for a single-family dwelling.
City Manager Chandler Goodwin said the city will not be monitoring the apartments — it simply does not have the manpower to do so — but will rely on self-reporting if problems arise.
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