Show/Hide

Important Updates:

Get the latest coronavirus updates, including information on closures and work the city is doing to limit the spread of the virus. | More Info

Show/Hide

The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Homeownership
  • Homes for Sale
  • Asset Management
  • Funding
  • Inclusionary Housing

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)


News & Updates

2020 ADU code update

On Feb. 4, 2020, City Council adopted Ordinance 8372 , providing incremental updates to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations to clarify and improve the implementation of the regulations. The February 2020 update:

  • Allows for an administrative modification process to the roof-pitch / height standards for legally existing accessory structures converting to detached ADUs. 
  • Removes the requirement for architectural consistency for all detached ADUs with existing and adjacent residences.
  • Allows for ADUs on properties with cooperative housing units (co-ops).
  • Clarifies inconsistent terminology in the code.
  • Prohibits the independent sale of ADUs separate from the principal dwelling unit.

2018 ADU code update

On Dec. 4, 2018 City Council adopted Ordinance 8256 , providing updated standards for ADUs addressing key topics including affordability, parking, saturation, allowed zones, unit size, short-term rentals, and accessory unit occupancy. The updated regulations sought to incrementally remove some of the barriers to creating ADUs, while maintaining accessory unit form and bulk compatibility with the neighborhoods. The 2018 ADU update was also intended to help achieve the following goals:

  • Provide additional flexibility to homeowners to stay in their homes by allowing for options that may either create supplemental revenue sources or allow for aging in place on the property.
  • Increase workforce and long-term rental housing opportunities while balancing potential impacts to existing neighborhoods.

More information on the 2018 ADU update can be found toward the bottom of this web page.

ADU Application Process

View a a training document pdf and on process and requirements for ADU applications.

A two-page summary of changes to ADU regulations is available here pdf.

What is an Accessory Dwelling Unit?​

An accessory dwelling unit, also known as an “accessory apartment”, “secondary suite”, or “mother-in-law apartment”, is an additional dwelling unit that has separate kitchen, sleeping, and bathroom facilities, attached or detached from the principal dwelling unit on a single-family lot. An accessory dwelling unit is permitted only if it meets the requirements of Section 9.6.4(a) of the land use code. The owner must reside in one of the dwelling units.​

Why are ADUs Important?​

ADUs offer homeowners many benefits that can maintain and increase quality of life. Homeowners can either use the ADU for themselves, rent it, or move into it to free up their principal home for others. General benefits include: 

  • Income - Ability to grow equity by investing in income generating space and flexible housing options. 
  • Family Support - Ability to house multi-generational families and extended family for aging-in-place. This supports familial strength, savings on senior-living and/or childcare costs, and long-term household stability. 
  • Neighborhood Strength - Neighborhood stability is strengthened for homeowners and renters. Homeowners can gain income or services from their rental units and renters gain access to housing options that often have lower rents, more rental options, and housing choices across multiple neighborhoods.​

What are the types of ADUs?​

ADUs are smaller than existing single-family houses and can be either attached to or detached from the principal home. Below are the two types: 
  • Attached ADU-  An attached ADU is a unit functionally separate, but physically attached to the principal home. They are commonly built in basements or upper stories (see image A), or as adjoining wings/additions to principal homes (see image B):
  • Detached ADU-  A detached ADU is a unit both functionally and physically separate from the principal home. Detached ADUs typically are one story at ground level or above a garage or carport (see image C). 
 

Click for the full diagram.

Where are ADUs allowed?

Attached and Detached ADUs are allowed, with approval through an administrative review application, in the following zoning districts: Residential - Low 1 (RL-1), Residential - Low 2 (RL-2), Residential - Estate (RE), Residential - Rural 1 (RR-1), Residential - Rural 2 (RR-2), Residential - Mixed 1 (RMX-1), Residential - Mixed 2 (RMX-2), Agricultural (A), or Public (P). To learn what zoning district you live in, visit city’s  Map of Zoning Districts  and enter your address. While checking on the zoning, also check to make sure the lot size meets the minimum of 5,000 square feet.

What are affordable accessory units? Are there additional allowances?

An Affordable ADU means a unit for which the rents meet the city’s affordability standard. An Affordable ADU can be either attached or detached. In exchange for agreeing to limit rents to  75% of the Area Median Income,  a homeowner may build a larger ADU (800 square feet for a detached ADU and 1,000 square feet or one half the size of the principal home (whichever is less) for an attached ADU) and is not required to provide an additional parking space.

Are there additional allowances for designated historic properties?

An Attached or Detached ADU that is located in a structure that is designated as an individual landmark, or recognized as contributing to a designated historic district, has a higher saturation limitation in the RL zoning districts (30% instead of 20%), can be larger than a standard ADU (1,000 square feet for a detached ADU and 1,000 square feet or one half the size of the principal home (whichever is less) for an attached ADU) and is not required to provide an additional parking space. Contact Marcy Cameron, Historic Preservation Planner, at 303-441-3209 or  [email protected]  if you would like to pursue an ADU on a historic property. Additional documentation will be necessary from Historic Preservation staff at time of application to utilize these additional allowances.

Can I rent my ADU? Is a rental license required?

A homeowner may rent either the ADU or the principal home on a property for more than 30 days at a time. A rental license is required if  either unit  is to be offered for rent for compensation.  Short term rentals (less than 30 days) are not allowed unless the ADU and rental license were established prior to January 3, 2019  (Section 10-3-19(k), B.R.C. 1981). For more information on the requirements for renting either the ADU or the principal home, visit the Rental Housing Licensing page at  https://bouldercolorado.gov/plan-develop/rental-housing-licensing .

How long do I have to establish an ADU following approval of the administrative application?

Pursuant to Section 9-6-2(c) of the land use code, a conditional use must be established within one year of its approval. Therefore, building permits must be issued and construction commenced to establish the accessory unit within one year of approval. If not established within that time frame, the administrative approval will expire and you will need to reapply for an ADU.

How do I apply for an ADU within a proposed single-family dwelling unit (not yet constructed)? Or for a detached ADU on the same property as a new home?

The ADU standards require that accessory units are associated with a lot or parcel with an existing single-family dwelling unit. It is possible to submit an administrative review application for an accessory unit before a permit is issued for the principal unit. However, staff is unable to approve the ADU application until a permit is issued for the construction of a new home. The permit plans for the new home cannot show the proposed accessory unit. You will be required to submit approved administrative review plans with any permit submittals required to establish the ADU. If the accessory unit is proposed within a new home it may be possible to revise the scope of work for the active permit issued for the construction of a single family home to include the elements of the ADU.

What is a saturation limit and where does it apply?

The number of ADUs allowed is limited in the Residential Low (RL-1 and RL-2) zoning districts. Specifically, no more than 20% of the parcels within 300 feet of the property may have an ADU. In addition to ADUs, cooperative housing units and non-conforming structures count in the saturation limit. 

How is the saturation rate calculated?

A 300-foot buffer is created around the property with the proposed ADU. The saturation is the percentage of the number of parcels  within an RL zoning districts  that contain an ADU, cooperative housing unit, or non-conforming use divided by the total number of parcels. A project specialist in the City’s Development Services Center can calculate the saturation limit for your parcel in order to determine if you are eligible for an ADU.

What does it mean to owner occupy?

At least one owner of record of the lot or parcel is required to occupy either the ADU or the principal home. This means that the owner must reside in either the ADU or the principal home for more than one-half of the year and such unit is not eligible to rent. The definitions in  Section 9-16-1 , B.R.C. 1981 are below for your reference: 

  • Owner-occupied  means a dwelling unit or accessory unit that is the principal residence of at least one owner of record of the lot or parcel upon which the dwelling unit or accessory unit is located, who possesses at least an estate for life or a fifty percent fee simple ownership interest or is the trustor of a revocable living trust.
  • Principal residence  means the dwelling unit in which a person resides for more than one-half of the year. However, if (1) the person owns another dwelling unit that is not licensed for long term rental; (2) the person's spouse or domestic partner has a different principal residence; (3) the person's driver's license, voter registration or any dependent's school registration shows a different residence address; or (4) the Boulder County Assessor lists a mailing address different from the dwelling unit address, it shall be presumed that the dwelling unit in question is not a principal residence. Provided, however, no presumption shall apply in any criminal proceeding.

Does Inclusionary Housing apply to ADUs?

No, the requirement for 25% of new development in the city to be permanently affordable to low- to middle-income households does NOT apply to ADUs. If a new principal dwelling is proposed, then Inclusionary Housing will apply.

Is a public notice required for an ADU application?

Yes, a public notice is sent to adjacent property owners a minimum of 10 days before final action by the city.  A public hearing before Planning Board or City Council is not required  for ADU applications. The Planning Department will review the application based on the criteria set forth in  Section 9-6-3(a), B.R.C. 1981.  The purpose of the public comment is for neighbors to learn about your proposal and raise any potential concerns prior to permitting. Although neighbors cannot stop you from creating an ADU, it allows you the opportunity to address any valid neighbor concerns.

How many occupants are allowed in an accessory dwelling unit?

The principal dwelling unit and accessory unit together are considered one dwelling unit for the purposes of determining occupancy requirements. Therefore, the total occupancy of both units shall not exceed the standards set forth in  Section 9-8-5, “Occupancy of Dwelling Units,” B.R.C. 1981 , for one dwelling unit. For the purposes of ADUs, any occupant and his or her dependents shall be counted as one person. For example, a family may live in the principal home and two unrelated persons may reside in the accessory unit (three unrelated persons in the RMX zoning districts). As mentioned above, any occupant and his or her dependents are considered one person. Therefore, in the example above, a parent with dependent children may occupy the accessory unit plus one unrelated person (two in the RMX zoning districts).

How do I legalize my illegal unit?

There are a number of single-family homes in Boulder that have illegal units. The ADU Update of 2018 was intended, in part, to encourage homeowners to comply with the ADU regulations. Many illegal units were created legally as additional space for living or an office. Over the years, these spaces may have been modified to create separate cooking/sleeping areas and rented not knowing that this was not allowed by city regulations. The city encourages homeowners with illegal units to meet with a project specialist in the City’s Development Services Center to review the new regulations and better understand if their unit may be eligible.

Which modifications to a previously established assessory dwelling unit require a new application?

Any modification to a legally established accessory unit that results in one or more of the following must be reviewed by the city and requires a new application to be filed with a Project Specialist at the Planning and Development Services Center:

  1. Change in the location of an attached ADU within the principal structure;
  2. Change from an Attached ADU to a Detached ADU, and vice versa;
  3. Change in affordability status;
  4. Change in total square footage of the accessory unit;
  5. Reduction in total square footage of the principal structure which contains an Attached ADU

What are the compatible development regulations? Do they apply to my property?

If you are proposing the construction of a building addition or a new building, and the property is located in the RR-1, RR-2, RE, RL-1, or RMX-1 zoning district, the following standards may apply. Some standards also apply to properties in RL-2 district within the boundaries of the Table Mesa 4 Planned Unit Development.

Compatible development is a set of four regulations that work in tandem to limit the scale and bulk of new construction in single family neighborhoods. The intent of these regulations is to protect the character of established single-family neighborhoods by assuring that new construction and additions are compatible in scale and bulk with the character of the neighborhood. More information can be found in the links below.

  • Floor Area Ratio (FAR): FAR is the ratio of the floor area of a building in relation to the area of the lot on which the building or buildings are situated. The purpose of a floor area ratio standard is to address the proportionality of building size to lot size and allow variation in building form within the established building envelope.
  • Side Yard Bulk Plane: The purpose of the side yard bulk plane is to ensure that buildings step down towards neighboring properties in order to enhance privacy, preserve some views, and allow visual access to the sky for lots adjacent to new development.
  • Side Yard Wall Articulation: The purpose of side yard wall articulation is to reduce the perceived mass of a building by dividing it into smaller components, or to step down (decrease) the wall height.
  • Building Coverage: The purposes of the building coverage standards are to establish the maximum percentage of lot surface that may be covered by principal and accessory buildings to preserve open space on the lot, and to preserve some views and visual access to the sky, and enhance privacy for residences that are adjacent to new development.

How does an ADU get a postal address?

Properties with approved accessory dwelling units shall maintain a single physical address with separate unit numbers associated with each of the units. At the time of administrative approval, new unit addresses will be assigned and established on the property. The principal structure will be Unit A and the accessory dwelling unit will be Unit B regardless of which unit the property owner occupies. A Notice of Address Assignment shall be sent to utility companies, USPS, emergency services, the County Assessor for review and approval.

Can I establish an ADU on the same property as a cooperative housing unit (co-op)?

The city code was amended in 2020 to expressly allow both an ADU and co-op on the same lot or parcel, subject to specific standards. The ADU must be established via the standard administrative application process required by Section 9-6-4(a)(1)(B), B.R.C. 1981 and meet all standards set forth in Section 9-6-4(a), B.R.C. 1981, including but not limited to size limitations and design standards. The ADU must be included in the cooperative organization, whereby residents share expenses, ownership or labor. The occupants of the ADU must be members of the cooperative. A property with a licensed cooperative unit and an ADU is not required to be owner-occupied, as would otherwise be required per the accessory dwelling unit regulations. Allowed occupancy of the cooperative unit includes the occupants of the ADU, i.e. occupancy allowances are not increased beyond what is allowed per the occupancy limitations in Section 9-8-5, "Occupancy of Dwelling Units," B.R.C. 1981. The code limits the amount of ADUs in the Residential Low Density zones to no more than twenty percent of the lots or parcels within a given neighborhood area, as defined in Section 9-6-4, “Accessory Units”, B.R.C. 1981. For the purposes of calculating this twenty percent limit, an ADU and co-op on the same property are only counted once.

Is a fire suppression system required in a detached ADU?

Yes, detached ADUs are required to have automatic sprinkler systems for fire suppression. The City Design and Construction Standards require sprinkler systems be connected to a dedicated sprinkler water service line that is connected to the City water system through a bypass water meter. Until implementation of the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) on July, 1, 2020, detached ADUs proposed on a lot with fire access frontage on two streets may be able to apply the sprinkler exceptions to the 2012 International Fire Code section 903.2.8 (Section 10-8-2(b)(33), B.R.C. 1981).

Can a "mist type" fire suppression system be approved for an ADU?

Yes, “mist type” fire suppression systems may be approved as alternate sprinkler designs when the systems can be demonstrated to be equivalent to recognized standards such as the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 13D system (IFC sec. 904). For example, the Plumis mist system was previously proposed and approved as an alternate type of fire extinguishing system for a detached ADU. This example is not meant to endorse a proprietary system and is provided as an example of how the process of gaining approval of an alternate equivalent fire extinguishing system by Boulder Fire-Rescue can be attained. When mist type fire suppression systems have been demonstrated equivalent to sprinkler standards that require installation by approved contractors, then approved contractors are also required to install the “mist type” system proposed.

What are other regulations that I need to consider?

In addition to the regulations described above, additional regulations may prohibit or restrict ADU construction, including but not limited to the following:

Deed Restrictions and Home Owner Associations

If there is a deed restriction on the home for permanent affordability, it is not eligible for an ADU. Also, some homeowners’ associations (HOAs) prohibit ADU construction or use. The city has no authority to overrule an HOA since it is a contractual agreement between the homeowner and the HOA.

Permitting Requirements

Your property may be subject to additional development standards related to a zoning overlay, historic landmark designation, historic district, flood plain, or other special design standards or guidelines. In this case, your project will need to meet additional standards beyond the typical building, fire, and zoning codes. Zoning, historic, and flood information specific to your property can be found on the  city’s online mapping  site. Please see a project specialist in the City’s Development Services Center with questions about possible additional permitted requirements.

Building and Fire Codes

All ADUs must meet with city’s building code to insure the structure is safe and habitable. In addition, a detached ADU must follow additional fire code requirements (i.e., sprinkler system). Visit the  Codes and Regulations web page for information on the required building and fire codes that regulate the construction of an ADU.

 

2018 ADU Update

Properties with approved accessory dwelling units shall maintain a single physical address with separate unit numbers associated with each of the units. At the time of administrative approval, an accessory dwelling unit, also known as an “accessory apartment”, “secondary suite”, or “mother-in-law apartment”, is an additional living unit that has separate kitchen, sleeping, and bathroom facilities, attached or detached from the principal residential unit on a single-family lot.

New ADU Regulation Adopted

City Council adopted Ordinance 8256 on Dec. 4, 2018 amending standards for accessory dwelling units that address parking, saturation, allowed zones, unit size, lot size, design, the five-year requirement, permit renewals, short-term rentals and accessory unit occupancy.

A summary of the changes is available here pdf.


Background

City Council responded to community requests to encourage the creation of new Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) by requesting that staff bring forward a list of incremental changes to city regulations that better allow accessory units while still addressing potential neighborhood impacts. Council has identified this as a work plan item for the past several years. On Aug. 22, staff presented council with a list of potential regulatory changes that would remove some of the barriers to creating accessory units, including but not limited to, addressing standards regarding unit concentration, sizes, and parking. The project will include incremental and focused changes to the regulations, not wholesale changes.

Accessory units have been discussed as one tool to address Boulder’s housing challenges over the past decade or more to help provide “a diversity of housing types and price ranges,” which is a core value of the  Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan . The current regulations regarding accessory units are intentionally restrictive and have resulted in a relatively small number of legal accessory units (230 as of January 2018) being constructed since the first ordinance was adopted in 1983.

Purpose Statement   

The city, with the community, will craft a proposal for incremental changes to the relevant regulations addressing accessory units (i.e., Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and Owner’s Accessory Units (OAUs)) to simplify the regulations and remove apparent barriers to the construction of this housing type in ways that are compatible with neighborhoods.

The ADU Update project is intended to achieve the following:

  • Provide additional flexibility to homeowners to stay in their homes by allowing for options that may either create supplemental revenue sources or allow for aging in place on the property.
  • Increase workforce and long-term rental housing opportunities while balancing potential impacts to existing neighborhoods.

Key Dates

City Council voted on Nov. 8, 2018 to adopt incremental changes to regulations that removed some of the barriers to creating accessory units (also known as garage flats, or in-law apartments). On Feb. 27, City Council held a study session to review a survey of ADU owners in Boulder, the results of community engagement activities, and staff recommended regulation changes. Based on council feedback, staff refined the list of options for proposed regulation changes and requested community input prior to the formal public hearings with the Housing Advisory Board, Planning Board and City Council.

April 24, 2018 – Housing Advisory Board Public Hearing

The newly created Housing Advisory Board held a formal public meeting on the ADU Update and made a recommendation to City Council for consideration in June. View the staff recommendation here:

https://bouldercolorado.gov/boards-commissions/housing-advisory-board pdf

May 3, 2018 – Planning Board Public Hearing

Planning Board held a formal public meeting on the ADU Update and made a recommendation to City Council for consideration in June. View the staff recommendation here:

Staff Recommendation to City Council pdf

June 5, 2018 – City Council Public Hearing

City Council held a formal public hearing on the ADU Update. City Council closed the public comment portion of the hearing and continued the discussion to July 17. View the agenda and staff memo here, including the recommendations from Planning Board and the Housing Advisory Board: 

ADU Update Memo June 5, 2018

August 29, 2018 City Council Public Hearing continued (special meeting)

City Council passed to 3rd reading an alternative ordinance with changes unanimously. The 3rd reading is currently scheduled for October 2 (see the October 2 meeting below for more details).

October 2, 2018, City Council Third Reading

City Council will continue the adoption process for the ADU Update. There will not be an opportunity for public comment because the public comment portion of the hearing was closed on June 5. On August 29, council passed an alternate ordinance to third reading. On October 2, City Council will consider an amended ordinance based on direction from the council motion that passed unanimously. Below is a link to the staff memo and the amended ordinance. Please note that the effective date of a new ordinance will be April 1, 2019 to allow city staff time to create the internal processes to accept the different type of ADU applications. Also, the ordinance may change between now and adoption (currently scheduled for October 16) and that the city will not be able to accept applications for ADUs under the new regulations until April 1, 2019.

ADU Update Memo and Amended Ordinance 8256 - October 2, 2018 pdf  

October 16, 2018, City Council Fourth Reading

City Council will continue the adoption process for the ADU Update. There will not be an opportunity for public comment because the public comment portion of the hearing was closed on June 5. On October 16, City Council will consider an amended ordinance based on the council adopted motion from October 2 (see below).

ADU Update Memo and Amended Ordinance 8256 - October 16, 2018 pdf

ADU Update Memo and Amended Ordinance 8256 - October 2, 2018 pdf  

November 8, 2018 – City Council Fifth Reading

City Council will continue the adoption process for the ADU Update. There will not be an opportunity for public comment because the public comment portion of the hearing was closed on June 5. November 8 will be the fifth and final reading assuming no additional changes are requested. This is the potential adoption date. However, the implementation date of a new ordinance will be February 1, 2019 to allow city staff time to create the internal processes to accept the different type of ADU applications.

ADU Update Memo and Amended Ordinance 8256 - November 8, 2018 pdf

City Council will continue the adoption process for the ADU Update. There will not be an opportunity for public comment because the public comment portion of the hearing was closed on June 5. December 4 will be the sixth and final reading assuming no additional changes are requested. This is the potential adoption date. However, the implementation date of a new ordinance will be February 1, 2019 to allow city staff time to create the internal processes to accept the different type of ADU applications.

ADU Update Memo and Amended Ordinance 8256 - December 4, 2018 pdf

 

Feedback from the Public 

How does the ADU Update process relate to the nine-step decision-making process adopted by council on Nov. 21 as part of the Engagement Strategic Framework? View memo here pdf. The city launched an update to the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) regulations with two open houses, one in north Boulder and one in south Boulder, to solicit community input prior to crafting a proposal.

Open House Feedback

Online Feedback 

Be Heard Boulder, the city's online engagement platform, was used to gather opinions on the proposed recommendations to ADU regulations. View the results here pdf.

Share Your ADU Experience Online Form

What we've heard online through the "Share Your ADU Experience" online form:

Be Heard Boulder Recommendation Survey

  


Where are ADUs 

ADU Map - 2017

Map of ADUs in Boulder from 2012

Click Map for the full view.

Where are ADUs Allowed?

Allowed Zone Map for ADUs

Zone map for allowed ADUs

Click Map for the full view.

Allowed Zone Map for OAUs

Zone Map for allowed OAUs

Click Map for the full view.

 


Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey 2017

An ADU survey was sent to the 230 owners of accessory units in Boulder to update the 2012 study. The 2017 survey response rate was 70 percent and includes a comparison of the 2012 and 2017 results. The full report is available here pdf, and a summary of key findings is below:

Key Findings 2017 Survey

  • For most respondents (74 percent), supplemental income through rental of the ADU was the reason they had created or retained the ADU and also supplemental income was also seen as the primary benefit.
  • When asked if they had noticed an increase in their property taxes after building their ADU, 20 percent said they noticed a large one and 18 percent said they noticed a small increase. About 30 percent said they had not really noticed an increase, and 33 percent could not remember.
  • When respondents were able to make an estimate of the annual household income of their ADU tenants:
  • 35 percent were estimated to have incomes of less than $40,000;
  • 40 percent were between $40,000 to $80,000; and
  • 25 percent were more than $80,000.
  • Overall, about 1 percent of ADU owners reported receiving occasional complaints about their unit from their neighbors. When examined by type of unit, OAU owners received zero occasional complaints, while 1 percent of ADU owners reported receiving occasional complaints.

 Read the full report is available here pdf,

 

Current Uses for ADUs

ADU Usage Pie Chart Graphic - Long-Term 64%, Short-term 11%, For Visitors 6%, Other 5%, For Relatives 5%, Owner Occupied and rents out main 4%, Extra Space 3%, Rental in exchange 1%

 

Ages of ADU Occupants

Ages of ADU Occupants - Not Occupied or Rented, 19%; 1 or more under 18, 4%; 1 or more 18-29, 36%; 1 or more 30-65, 59% and 1 or more 65 plus, 11%

 


Community Engagement - Project Milestones

1. Launch Community Engagement and Complete Foundations Work. Oct - Dec 2017

Create a community engagement plan pdf that meets Council and Planning Board expectations for an incremental change to the regulations related to accessory units. The initial engagement will focus on getting community feedback on the draft WHY and PURPOSE statements and the draft list of focused code changes – prior to crafting a specific proposal.

  • Clearly articulate and communicate the scope of this effort and what is not getting addressed.

  • Reinforce the incremental nature, rather than whole sale change.

  • Clearly identify project milestones where community input into the process is most effective.

  • Conduct additional qualitative and quantitative analysis to update and support the 2012 ADU Study.  The information will be used to understand how neighbors of existing ADUs perceive impacts from the units.

  • Continue to explore options for ensuring ADUs are affordable (either through covenants, voluntary agreements, or incentives such as fee waivers).

  • Community Outreach in October/November 2017 – Planning Board meeting to seek input prior to public meetings on the following: discussion of DRAFT why statement, DRAFT purpose statement, and the draft list of focused code changes.

  • Hold 2 separate open houses in November (North and South Boulder) to request input on the above. Open house will include posters on background materials, draft why and purpose statement.

  • Create the opportunity for attendees to share their ADU story (written or video).

  • Explore opportunities to combine outreach efforts with the Building Height project.

  • Issue an open invitation to meet with any stakeholder.

Deliverables: Detailed project schedule; community engagement plan; final why and purpose statements; draft list of focused code changes; Planning Board meeting; project website and project launch press release.

2. Community Discussion Draft Proposal. January - February 2018

Based on community and board input from previous engagement, publish a discussion draft of a staff report that identifies barriers and details potential changes to the ordinance. This will include additional analysis and data collection to support the discussion draft and a summary of community engagement activities and input to date.

  • Community Outreach in – review of discussion draft. Hold 3-5 separate open houses in January (North, Central, East and South Boulder) to request input.

  • Conduct targeted outreach (coffee talks, office hours, meetings with stakeholders, etc.)

  • Coordinate outreach with the Building Height project.

  • Issue an open invitation to meet with any stakeholder.

Deliverables: Discussion Draft Proposal; survey results

3. Planning Board and Council Public Hearings. Mar - Apr 2018

Based on community input, publish a Planning Board memo with a staff recommendation for a final round of community events to inform the public hearings with Planning Board and City Council. Included in the recommendation will be a summary of community input and how that input shaped the contents of the proposal.

Community Outreach – public hearings with the Planning Board and City Council. Deliverables: Planning Board and Council memos; Adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance.

Deliverables: Planning Board and Council memos; Adopted Accessory Dwelling Unit ordinance.


Notice of Nondiscrimination

Equal Housing Opportunity logo

The City of Boulder, Division of Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation or military status in any of its programs, services or activities.

Reasonable Accommodation

The Department of Housing and Human Services, upon request, will provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in programs, services and activities. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid, communication service, or a reasonable accommodation to participate in a program, service, or activity of the Department, should call the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at 303-441-3231. For hearing or speech impaired residents, please dial 7-1-1 for Relay Colorado.

For more information on legal notices and resources, visit: bouldercolorado.gov/housing/legal-notices

new unit addresses will be assigned and established on the property. The principal structure will be Unit A and the accessory dwelling unit will be Unit B regardless of which unit the property owner

occupies. A Notice of Address Assignment shall be sent to utility companies, USPS, emergency services, the County Assessor for review and approval.



Notice of Nondiscrimination

Equal Housing Opportunity logo

The City of Boulder, Division of Housing does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation or military status in any of its programs, services or activities.

Reasonable Accommodation

The Department of Housing and Human Services, upon request, will provide appropriate aids and services leading to effective communication for qualified persons with disabilities so they can participate equally in programs, services and activities. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid, communication service, or a reasonable accommodation to participate in a program, service, or activity of the Department, should call the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator at 303-441-3231. For hearing or speech impaired residents, please dial 7-1-1 for Relay Colorado.

For more information on legal notices and resources, visit: bouldercolorado.gov/housing/legal-notices