On May 24, 2022, Chattanooga City Council voted on the first reading of a new ordinance to allow for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) city-wide. The vote passed unanimously. Here’s what you should know about this new ordinance:
The definition of an ADU varies from place to place. Typically, this refers to a dwelling on a single family lot that is detached from the main home. Different municipalities have different conditions for types of structures that qualify, size of structure, and placement on the lot. Currently, Chattanooga’s ordinance allows for site-built construction only, not exceeding 700 sq ft, and located either to the side of the main home or in the backyard. There is also flexibility that allows for an ADU to be attached to the main home, above a garage, etc. (read the ordinance here).
While we know many Chattanoogans are interested in the tiny home lifestyle, it’s important to note that this ordinance does not include Tiny Homes on Wheels in its definition of an ADU. But here’s why we still feel this is an incredibly positive development:
- Approving small dwellings as ADUs is typically the first step toward broader acceptance of tiny homes as primary dwellings.
- Our community leaders are making real progress toward providing more housing options for our city as we continue to grow. They are responding to the critical demand in the housing market with forward-thinking legislation.
If you own a home in the city of Chattanooga, you can now build an ADU that can either be occupied by a full-time resident(s) or used as an investment property for short- or long-term rental. A few ways this positively impacts our community:
- Families can keep aging loved ones close.
- Homeowners can create more income and/or increase their property values.
- ADUs for rent can provide more attainable options to our housing supply.
- Chattanooga can combat urban sprawl by creating more housing within the city, keeping commutes short.
The final reading of the ordinance is still to come, but with the early and unanimous support shown already, it is expected to pass with ease. We care about our community, and we congratulate the City Council for all their hard work on advancing attainable urban housing opportunities!