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Tucson city council approves new ADU size restrictions

Posted at 10:25 PM, Dec 07, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Tuesday night, the Tucson city council approved new size restrictions for accessory dwelling units or ADUs.

Lots under 6,500 square feet can have an ADU up to 650 square feet. Lots over 6,500 square feet will be able to have an ADU that is 10% of their lot size.

"It is substantially more flexible than any of the options we have on the table right now," Ward 6 Council Member Steve Kozachik said.

Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said this is a move in the wrong direction.

"This particular step will not move us in the right direction when it comes to equity," Mayor Romero said. "When it comes to sustainability, we need to see additional density created in our city."

Council had originally approved size restrictions back in October, that allowed a 1,000 square feet ADU for lot sizes that were over 7,000 square feet. The size was met with backlash from some community members.

"1,000 square feet is just way out of line," Karan Schriber, a resident of the Jefferson Park Neighborhood, said.

Schriber also worried about the opportunity outside investors saw with student housing.

The city council said that ADUs are supposed to help provide affordable housing; however, Diana Lett, a Feldman's Neighborhood resident, doesn't think this will help.

"You don't get that by building ADUs in an area that's already insanely overpriced," Lett said. "Any place that is even remotely walkable to bikeable to the university, any place that is even remotely walkable or bikeable to downtown you are not going to have affordable housing. It's not going to happen."

The new code will have a review period in one year.