Provide affordable and/or compact residential options through Accessory Dwelling Units.
An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is defined as a second, smaller detached dwelling on the same property, or one that is attached to an existing single-family house, such as a basement or over-the-garage apartment. As Lexington continues to grow, ADUs can play a role in meeting the overall housing demand.
ADUs are not a new idea, and examples of them can be found throughout the United States. Old alley apartments in DC, or carriage houses in fine old Seattle homes, have been around for a long time, but they fell out of favor in the middle of the 20th century. Now they are an increasingly popular and important housing option in urbanizing cities today. Where Lexington has traditionally had a significant portion of its development controlled by a handful of developer/builders, ADUs essentially create a whole new market (a ‘cottage’ industry, if you will) for small builders to construct a housing product the community needs. There is tremendous opportunity to enhance existing neighborhoods by building new context sensitive ADUs. In areas where property values have increased dramatically and tear-down/rebuilds have started to shift the appearance of the neighborhood, the creation of an accessory dwelling unit could make retention of an existing principal structure more economically viable. Cities and neighborhoods are always changing and evolving. They are either improving or declining. Enhancing existing neighborhoods means not preserving them exactly as they have always been; rather, steering their evolution in a way that benefits those residents, while making it accessible to as many people as possible.