Proposed bill would allow Colorado homeowners to build accessory dwelling units

Posted at 7:24 PM, Feb 27, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-27 22:09:03-05

DENVER — Dozens of Colorado cities could soon be required to allow homeowners to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on their properties.

An ADU is a smaller, separate living space on the same property as a main house. Traditionally, it is located above a garage or in a separate structure.

House Bill 24-1152 would give homeowners the right to build an ADU on their property if they live in a city that’s located in five listed metro areas (Denver metro, northern Colorado, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, or Grand Junction) and has a population of at least 1,000. It also creates an ADU fee reduction and encouragement grant program.

State Sen. Kyle Mullica, D-Adams County, one of the bill’s sponsors, said it is part of a broader strategy to increase affordable housing options in Colorado.

"As a state, this is the number one issue we’re hearing is how do people afford to live where they live? How do they afford the housing? We have to do something. I think it's represented in this bill, some of those concerns," Mullica said.

But opponents of the bill said the state shouldn't force development rules on local cities. State Rep. Lisa Frizell, R-Douglas County, who lives in Castle Rock, said the bill would wipe out everything her city has worked to build.

"Castle Rock, years ago, made the decision to allow ADUs, and we have a system that’s working for the citizens. We want to be left alone. Let us make our own zoning decisions," said Frizell.

A January poll by Keating Research shows 78% of Coloradans support a state law to allow ADUs to be built on single-family home properties.

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