Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Accessory Dwelling Units Now Allowed in El Paso

The City of El Paso approved an ordinance allowing accessory dwelling units on all single-family residential lots in the City as recommended during the Plan El Paso planning process. Accessory dwellings like garage apartments or "grannie flats" add affordable housing inconspicuously into single-family areas. “For Smart Growth or New Urbanism to work, accessory dwelling units are an essential element,” said Mathew McElroy, Deputy Director of Planning and Economic Development. The ordinance allows rental apartments to help homeowners pay the mortgage of the main house and the relaxation of side and rear setbacks to accommodate ADUs on even small lots. Susie Byrd, City Council Representative for District 2, said, “The way we currently meet affordable housing needs is with large garden apartments and apartment complexes at the periphery of the city… this is very expensive in terms of infrastructure and transportation costs to the City and the resident…I think this is a much better model.”

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