February 16th, Zoning Meeting at City Hall

The Zoning Ordinance Advisory Committee held a meeting on Thursday, February 16th and I was able to attend. There was some confusion on the purpose of the meeting, so I thought to share some details to provide better context and history of this case to everyone. Late in October 2015, the City Council Housing Committee was briefed on the issue of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The Housing Committee directed the staff to conduct a meeting to gather input from Dallas residents on whether to allow accessory dwelling units and their potential impact on neighbors and neighborhoods.

The February 16th meeting purpose was to review considerations for amending the Dallas development code to create regulations to allow accessory dwelling units. Our district councilman Mr. Kingston was among participants and an advocate for this case. He and many lower Greenville and M-Street residents present at the meeting thought this was a great option to allow regulated affordable housing for low income individuals. This allows low-income residents to afford living within the popular inner city neighborhoods, where the cost of living and housing have been rapidly increasing.

There was no decision made, and the case is still in the review phase. I anticipate approval of this case, although it will not directly impact Bryan Place. It actually might be a good move for many Dallas homeowners who can benefit from additional income. More importantly, it will give the city the authority to regulate life safety, constructability, and code compliance of such units within our neighborhoods and adjacent areas. And it will ultimately make the practice of renting a garage apartment or mother-in-law suite safer due to such regulations.

In short, ADUs have always been somewhat permitted in Dallas zoning; however such living units have not been always regulated. I have submitted two case reports and a meeting agenda from this meeting for anyone who is interested to find out more details. These can be downloaded via our association web page.