House Bill 1291 amends existing laws on accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to increase the number of ADUs allowed by right from one to two and introduces definitions for "attached unit" and "detached unit." The bill permits the construction of ADUs simultaneously with the principal dwelling and allows for one ADU to be either attached or detached by right, with the possibility of a second ADU through a conditional use permit or special exception. It removes the requirement for an interior door between the principal dwelling and the ADU, allowing for independent access. Municipalities can impose regulations on ADUs as long as they are not more restrictive than those for single-family dwellings, and they may require up to one additional parking space per ADU and owner occupancy in one of the units. Aesthetic standards can only be applied to ADUs if they are also applied to the principal dwelling.

The bill also increases the minimum size restriction for ADUs to 1,000 square feet for one unit and 850 square feet for additional units, and prohibits municipalities from requiring a familial relationship between occupants of an ADU and the principal dwelling or limiting ADUs to one bedroom. ADUs can count as workforce housing for regional fair share obligations, with potential restrictive covenants for properties with multiple ADUs. Municipalities must allow at least one detached ADU per property and may convert existing structures into ADUs despite zoning violations. The bill sets a maximum lot size requirement of half an acre for properties with more than one ADU. The bill includes the deletion of municipal discretion on permitting detached ADUs and inserts a mandate to allow them, with an effective date of July 1, 2025.

Statutes affected:
Introduced: 674:71, 674:72, 674:73
As Amended by the House: 674:71, 674:72, 674:73