Each home lot could have a secondary unit if changes to the Estacada City code are approved

In order to create more affordable housing options, the Estacada city code may be amended to allow for small secondary units on properties.

City councilors initially approved this amendment to the code, along with several others, at a meeting on Monday, Sept. 11. There will be a second consideration at the group's next meeting on Monday, Oct. 9.

Secondary residential buildings, or accessory dwelling units, are currently prohibited in chapter 16 of the Estacada city code.

City leaders noted that ideally, the change to the code will create more affordable housing in Estacada.

"We want to have a diverse offering of houses and price ranges," said Estacada Economic Development Manager Matt Lorenzen, noting that many homes in the city's new subdivisions may be unaffordable for some. "We want (people) to be able to find a suitable place to live if they want to live in Estacada, and ADUs are one way to do that."

Accessory dwelling units are either attachments to an already existing house or small units detached from the original building. The update to the code will allow for the addition of an accessory dwelling unit on a residentially zoned lot where the current use is a single or multifamily residence. One accessory dwelling unit will be allowed per lot and may be no larger than 900-1,200 square feet, depending on the type of building it is.

Additionally, the unit must be designed so that its appearance conforms to the style of the primary building. Units that are detached from the initial building must be at least 10 feet behind the front building line of the primary house.

"All of these sites will have to go through the process that any building would have to go through for permits," Lorenzen said. "They'll have to have proper heating, sanitation and (meet) all of the building codes of a legitimate dwelling unit."

He believes there will be value in the additional opportunities for affordable housing associated with the new dwelling units.

"(There's not as much) housing (in Estacada) affordable to two working parents, or to an individual working," he said, adding that he believes the accessory dwelling units will be a "win all around."

"If homeowners have a space that's conducive to (the conversion to an ADU), they can realize a new type of income," he continued. "It's a way to have a diversity of folks all living within the same neighborhood."

In addition to the amendment to allow for accessory dwelling units, there are several other updates to the city code that will receive a second consideration at the council's next meeting on Oct. 9.

¦ Amend the development code by adding additional definitions for terms such as greenhouse, a structure with transparent or translucent vertical walls, and hoophouse, any non-rigid, transparent or trans-

lucent structure, often construc-

ted with PVC pipe and polyethy-


¦ Amend chapter 16 to remove height restrictions for vegetative fences, which were previously limited to six feet. Other types of fences taller than six feet will require a permit.

¦ Amend chapter 16 to clarify transparency requirements for buildings in the downtown zone. As previously outlined in the code, ground floor buildings should have at least 60 percent transparency on street-facing elevations, and upper building stories should have at least 40 percent transparency on street-facing elevations. The amendment to the code clarifies the ways in which these percentages should be calculated.

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