A.D.U. Doesn’t Stand For Awesome Daiquiri Umbrella
No, it stands for Additional Dwelling Unit, and while that may not sound like something controversial, it most certainly is—just ask your city council representative.
The bigger question ADU’s bring up is how to grow in a valley with finite space to develop: sprawl, or density. To think about this, I’d like to offer a little example of infill development that doesn’t seem very well thought out.
This example includes pictures, so if this issue interests you, please click for more.
If you look at the picture below, you might assume the walkway goes to the white house with the red shutters. Well, that walkway use to be a part of the property where the white house sits, but a few years ago, whoever owns the property must have decided to split the lot, because that walkway actually goes to the brand new house that was built behind the white house, which you can barely see in the picture.
This next picture is a shot of the five bedroom house that was built in what use to be the backyard of the white house with red shutters. In between the fence and the house is one of two parking spots for cars.
This shot shows the other side of the house. As you can see, there is a car (which you can barely see) parked to the right of the garbage can. If the shot panned out, you would be able to see how a car parked in the alley like bottlenecks the space in the alley, making in sometimes difficult to drive past.
I assume the walkway that accesses the main street that the white house with red shutters faces (Stephens) is intended to give the house more parking if needed, because it’s a five bedroom house.
Parking is one reason this infill seems poorly thought out. And I wonder who would actually want to buy this house (I believe they were asking over 300K) considering there’s no yard, and it’s crammed in the alley.
This is one of the fears people seem to have about density—that it won’t be very well thought out.
But ADU’s are slightly different than the above example of awkward infill, and there are increasing economic realities that make the ability to build an additional dwelling unit crucial. People are having to get more creative to subsidize mortgages and rent, or to find economically viable solutions for taking care of aging parents or housing struggling post-graduates laden with debt and shitty job prospects.
So I support the difficult work of our city officials in trying to figure out how to address this contentious issue, because it ain’t easy, and it makes some people really pissed off.