City considers updates to Accessory Dwelling Unit rules

Press Release Date:
Friday, February 24, 2017
ADU example

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is considering updates to its Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) rules. ADUs are small additional residential units on existing properties, including basement and garage conversions or small backyard cottages.  

“Updates are being considered to help address housing affordability needs and provide more options for aging or special needs populations, provide continued flexibility for homeowners and ensure ADUs fit in with neighboring properties” said City Planner Bryan Snodgrass.

Approximately 65 ADUs have been built citywide under current standards, which have not been updated for more than a decade.

The City will host an informal open house to collect community feedback on potential updates from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7 at the Vancouver Housing Authority, 2500 Main St.

A more formal Vancouver Planning Commission public hearing with opportunities to testify will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 11 at Vancouver City Hall, 415 W. 6th St.

Potential new ADU rules would:

  • Keep existing requirements of one ADU per property that is visually subordinate to the main house, meets full building code standards and has a base maximum size of 800 square
  • Keep requirement to include on-site (off-street) parking
  • Eliminate requirement that ADU or the main home be owner-occupied
  • Eliminate requirement that ADU match specific design features of main house
  • Allow ADUs as small as 160 square feet, as allowed by state building code

For more information, download the ADU fact sheet here.

Bryan Snodgrass, Community and Economic Development Planner

Vancouver Housing Authority
2500 Main St #100
Vancouver, WA 98660