BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors held the second and final reading of an amendment to the city code, Wednesday night, loosening restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), also known as in-law suites. The motivation was to address affordable housing in Bend.
Councilors already agreed to limit the size of ADUs to 800-square feet. Tandem parking was okayed, and no longer would a conditional use permit be required to add the second dwelling to a city lot.
But removing the requirement to notify neighbors that an ADU will be built still rankled Mayor Jim Clinton. “But in the areas of notification of neighbors and of the protections for the neighborhood I think we kind of went too far one direction. And so that’s the reason I didn’t support the first reading and won’t be supporting the second reading.”
Councilor Doug Knight agreed, “Changing our noticing requirements and eliminating all possibility for conversations to occur at the beginning of projects where it’s most effective in terms of promoting good neighbor relations, I don’t believe that we’re correctly applying our desire to increase affordable housing through the relaxation of standards for Accessory Dwelling Units.”
But the rest of the Council disagreed, passing the code amendment on a 5-2 vote.