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Arapahoe County News

Posted on: May 17, 2023

County one step closer to allowing Accessory Dwelling Units

Close up image of a modest, white-paneled house.

Arapahoe County is one step closer to allowing Accessory Dwelling Units within unincorporated portions of the County.

The Planning Commission approved the draft regulations Tuesday, May 16 for Accessory Dwelling Units—or ADUs—which are secondary dwellings that can be added to, created within or built adjacent to a detached single-family home on a property of at least 19 acres.

The Planning Commission changed the minimum property lot size to 19 acres from 5,000 square feet due to residents who voiced concerns ADUs could negatively impact urban/suburban areas of the County.

The draft regulations allow ADUs to be built within all Agricultural, most Residential and Mixed Use (MU) zoning districts. 

The draft regulations allow ADUs in planned unit developments, unless they are prohibited. Homeowner associations with private covenants can prohibit ADUs within their communities. 

The draft regulations prohibit ADUs from being rented or occupied short-term, which is for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days. 

One off-street parking space is required, but it can be in tandem with existing parking, provided the spaces meet the minimum size requirement. 

The matter will now go before the Board of County Commissioners, who will hold a public hearing before voting on the proposed regulations. A hearing date will be scheduled this summer. If approved, the regulations would be added to the County’ Land Development Code. 

County Planning staff started working on the draft regulations in the fall of 2021 as one way to address housing affordability and availability within unincorporated Arapahoe County. Currently, ADUs are not allowed.

The proposed regulation also provides requirements and guidelines for design, location, size and the number of bedrooms.

Additional information is available at

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