"Accessory Dwelling Units Rock. But Should States Be Overriding Cities' Laws About Building Them?" (Podcast)
Building an accessory apartment is one of the gentlest ways you can increase the housing stock in your town. But does that mean that states should be the ones making the rules about how you can do it—even if those rules are permissive?
Let’s walk through what it actually takes to build a small rental apartment on your property in Austin, Texas. It’s a lesson in how the city’s existing code stymies gentle, incremental, small-scale development.
Lexington, Kentucky, recently proposed an ordinance that would allow accessory dwelling units. Nolan Gray explains how ADUs are good for renters, good for homeowners, and good for the city — and why Lexington’s ordinance is (almost) perfect.
The growing movement to end exclusive single-family zoning—as Oregon just did in its cities—is not a radical or untested experiment: it’s a return to a historical norm. The actual radical experiment is the strange notion that a neighborhood should be required to contain only one type of home.
Last November, Minneapolis made duplexes and triplexes legal on any residential lot—an achievement that became a model for other towns and cities. Let’s check in.
A bill making its way through the Vermont legislature could be a model for making communities more affordable, more walkable, and more prosperous.