Zoning changes could reshape single-family neighborhoods in Cincinnati to include more multi-family homes and accessory dwelling units.
A proposed ordinance announced Thursday, March 16 would allow for the construction of accessory dwelling units on lots of existing single-family homes.
An accessory dwelling unit is described in the ordinance as a “self-contained dwelling unit designed for occupancy by one family for living and sleeping purposes that provides complete independent living facilities, including its own entrance, kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area; that is located on the same lot as a larger single-family dwelling that serves as the principal use of that lot; and whose use is subordinate and incidental to the larger single-family dwelling."
A newly-built accessory dwelling unit cannot take up more than 15% of the lot, or 800 square feet, whichever is greater. The ordinance language does provide an allowance for existing garages to be converted into fully-functioning homes, even if they do not match the size requirements for new structures.
The ordinance, proposed by councilmember Mark Jeffreys, would increase the number of available rental units in the city, but Jeffreys said whether or not the structures could be used as Airbnbs is still up in the air.
Next steps on the ordinance include review from council’s Equitable Growth and Housing committee and talks with Invested Neighborhoods, which is the umbrella organization for all of Cincinnati’s community councils. Jeffreys said the ordinance would need to go before the Cincinnati Planning Commission in May before council ultimately votes on the final ordinance language.
Another ordinance announced last month by vice mayor Jan-Michele Kearney would modify zoning laws to allow owners of homes that once contained multiple units, but were later changed to single-family homes as a result of zoning laws, to convert those homes back to multi-family units without the need of a permit.
That ordinance is still under review from city planners and will also need final approval from council.
Read the proposed ordinance for accessory dwelling units below:
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