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The Montgomery County Council is considering substantial changes to the rules that govern “accessory” apartments (Zoning Text Amendment 19-10) with the goals of increasing affordable housing, providing multi-generational housing, and providing additional income for retirees and young families. The Town Council discussed and formed a position on the proposed changes at its meeting on February 13. Councilmember Joel Rubin presented this position to the County Council at its public hearing on February 26. A link to Joel's testimony is available here.What is an Accessory Apartment?It is a separate dwelling unit located on a lot with a single-family house. There are two types: attached and detached. An attached apartment is one that is inside the house. A detached apartment is one that is in an accessory building in a rear yard (e.g., a garage, a “tiny” house, a granny pod).What are the Current Rules? Currently, only attached apartments are allowed in neighborhoods like the Town (zoned R-60). There can be 1 attached apartment on a lot provided the apartment meets certain requirements related to size, age of the house in which it is located, spacing from other apartments, and required off-street parking spaces. The spacing and parking requirements can be waived by the County. A maximum of two adults can live in the apartment (the number of children is regulated by county housing rules). The property owner must live in the house (not the apartment). A property with a licensed accessory apartment cannot get a license for short-term rentals (e.g., AirB&B). Detached apartments are not allowed in the R-60 zone. In the zones where they are allowed, they can only be on lots of 1 acre or more.Proposed Changes to Accessory Apartment Rules
NotesIf the proposed changes are adopted:
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